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The Past Perfect Tense

The Past Perfect Tense Form: had + V3 They had returned. Had they returned? No, they hadnt. They had not returned. He had gone. Had he gone? No, he hadnt. He had not gone. Usage:, . : by She had written the composition by 6 oclock. By the time we came the children had already slept. ( , ) They had already reserved the table when they went to the restaurant. Time expressions: by, ever, never just, already, yet, so far, for, since .

Exercise1. Open the brackets. You went back to your home town after many years and you found that many things were different.

Example: Most of my friends were no longer there. They (leave) had left.

1. My best friend, Kevin, was no longer there. He (go) away.

2. The local cinema was no longer open. It (close) down.

3. Mr. Smith was no longer alive. He (die).

4. I didnt recognize Mrs. Smith. She (change) a lot.

5. Bill no longer had his car. He (sell) it.

Exercise2. Make sentences using the words in brackets.

Example: I wasnt hungry. (I / just / have / lunch) I had just had lunch.

1. Tom wasnt at home when I arrived. (he / just / go out)

2. We arrived at the cinema late. (the film / already / begin)

3. They werent eating when I arrived to see them. (they / just / finish / their dinner)

4. I invited Ann to dinner last night but she couldnt come. (she / already / arrange / to do something else)

5. I was very pleased to see Nora again. (I / not / see / her for five years)

6. They thought they were well-prepared for exam (they / study / all the material / by the end of the term)

7. He was very fond of travelling. (he / visit / 12 countries / by the time he was 35)

8. They were a very happy couple. (they / be married / for 10 years)

9. There was nobody on the platform. (the train / already / leave / when I arrived)

10. I could hardly recognize her. (we / not see / each other since 1990)

Exercise3. First say which action happened first, then join the sentences using the words in brackets, as in the example.

Example: Hesaved a lot of money. Then he bought a car. (when)

Saved a lot of money: happened first

When he had saved a lot of money, he bought a car.

1. She hung out the washing. Then it began to rain. (after)

2. Fiona cleaned the house. Then the children arrived home. (by the time)

3. The guests left. Then she started cleaning. (when)

4. The girls put on their uniforms. Then they went to school. (before)

5. The meeting started. Then the lights went out. (alreadywhen)

Exercise4. Put the verb into the correct form (the past perfect or the past simple).

1. The house was very quiet when I got home. Everybody (go) to bed.

2. I felt very tired when I got home, so I (go) straight to bed.

3. Sorry Im late. The car (break) down on my way here.

4. There was a car by the side of the road. It (break) down and the driver was trying to repair it. So we (stop) to see if we could help.

5. Was Tom there when you arrived? No, he (go) home.

6. Was Tom there when you arrived? Yes, but he (go) home soon afterwards.


Exercise5. Open the brackets. Use the correct past tense.

A. On Monday morning, Laura 1)___(miss) the bus and had to walk to school. When she 2)___(arrive), the bell 3)___(already/ring) and lessons 4)___(start). The children 5)___(work) quietly when Laura 6)___(walk) into the classroom.


B. When Jamie 1)___(get) to the party, a lot of people 2)___(dance) to pop music. Everyone 3)___(wear) jeans and T-shirts. Jamie 4)___(buy) a new suit for the party and he 5)___(wear) that. He 6)___(feel) quite silly. Because everyone 7)___(look) at him.

Exercise6. Read the sentences. Define the tense. Make negative sentences and ask questions of different types.

1. Tom had returned from the cinema by 5 oclock.

2. It is very hot today.

3. Jim likes ice-cream very much.

4. Tom returned from the cinema at 5 oclock.

5. You have already read this book.

6. Look! Her baby is smiling.

7. When Ann came home her children were watching TV.

Exercise7. Choose the correct answer.

1. Are you going shopping tonight?

No, I yesterday.

A. went B. had gone C. go

2. Did you see Sue?

No, she by the time I arrived at his house.

A. was leaving B. had left C. is leaving

3. Where is Lucy?

She on the phone when I saw him.

A. was talking B. talked C. had talked

4. How often do you clean your house?

I clean it once a week.

A. seldom B. usually C. never

5. Did you go out for dinner last night?

No. I a lot at lunch, so I wasnt hungry.

A. ate B. had eaten C. was eating

6. Did you enjoy your holiday?

Yes, we in a beautiful hotel.

A. have stayed B. had stayed C. stayed

7. I like your dress. Is it new?

No. I it for ages.

A. had B. have C. have had

8. How is John now?

He better slowly.

A. gets B. is getting C. has got


Exercise8. Correct the mistakes.

1. They are usually starting work at 9 oclock.

2. Look! That man is having blue hair!

3. Do you study for exams at the moment?

4. I was being late for work yesterday morning.

5. Sheila is typing twenty letters so far this morning.

6. The sun has set in the west.

7. We had slept when the phone rang.

8. Linda buys a new car last month.


Exercise9. Open the brackets using the Past Simple, the Past Continuous or the Past Perfect.

Last night we (to go) to a football match. We (to take) a bus. The bus (to be) overcrowded as many people (to want) to see the match. We (to get) off the bus and (to go) in the direction of the stadium. While we (to cross) the road, I (to see) Victor. He (to stand) at the corner. He said he (to wait) for his friend who (to come) from Liverpool the day before and (to wish) to see the new stadium. A man (to come) up to me and asked if I (to have) a spare ticket for the match. Victor told us that two boys just (to ask) him whether he (to have) a spare ticket. We (to enter) the stadium just as the football players (to come) out on the field. At the entrance to the stadium we (to meet) Andrew. He (to show us to our seats and (to ask) me if I (play) football in my childhood. We (to agree) to meet in the snack bar during the interval.

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