Past Perfect Grammar Exercises

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Do you know how to use phrases like They'd finished the project by March or Had you finished work when I called?

Look at these examples to see how the past perfect is used.

Learn english kids time for another year. He couldn't make a sandwich because he'd forgotten to buy bread.
The hotel was full, so I was glad that we'd booked in advance.
My new job wasn't exactly what I’d expected.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Past simple, past continuous, past perfect – grammar chart. Download full-size image from Pinterest. Past simple We use the past simple to talk about completed actions in the past. We ate out yesterday. (the action is finished) In a story, we use the past simple to talk about past events in chronological order; i.e. The main events of a story. Grammar Exercises Here are all the English grammar exercises on the site so far. Irregular Verbs: Irregular Past Simple, Part 1; Irregular Past Simple, Part 2.

Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

Time up to a point in the past

We use the past perfect simple (had + past participle) to talk about time up to a certain point in the past.

She'd published her first poem by the time she was eight.
We'd finished all the water before we were halfway up the mountain.
Had the parcel arrived when you called yesterday?

Past perfect for the earlier of two past actions

We can use the past perfect to show the order of two past events. The past perfect shows the earlier action and the past simple shows the later action.

When the police arrived, the thief had escaped.

It doesn't matter in which order we say the two events. The following sentence has the same meaning.

The thief had escaped when the police arrived.

Exercises

Note that if there's only a single event, we don't use the past perfect, even if it happened a long time ago.

The Romans spoke Latin. (NOT The Romans had spoken Latin.)

Past Simple Vs Present Perfect Grammar Exercises

Past perfect with before

We can also use the past perfect followed by before to show that an action was not done or was incomplete when the past simple action happened.

Past Simple Exercises Pdf Perfect Grammar

They left before I'd spoken to them.
Sadly, the author died before he'd finished the series.

Adverbs

Past Perfect Grammar Exercises Pdf

We often use the adverbs already (= 'before the specified time'), still (= as previously), just (= 'a very short time before the specified time'), ever (= 'at any time before the specified time') or never (= 'at no time before the specified time') with the past perfect.

I called his office but he'd already left.
It still hadn't rained at the beginning of May.
I went to visit her when she'd just moved to Berlin.
It was the most beautiful photo I'd ever seen.
Had you ever visited London when you moved there?
I'd never met anyone from California before I met Jim.

Past Perfect Grammar ExercisesPast Perfect Grammar Exercises

Past Perfect Exercises Printable

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Language level

Past Perfect Exercises With Answers

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