Past Perfect Tense: In English, When the verb defines/denotes an activity that is used to represent an event or action that happened in the past before another event or action that happened in the past, then the such verb is used as Past Perfect Tense. This type of tense is also called a pluperfect. The general formula is Subject + Helping Verb (had) + Past participle of the main verb + the rest of the sentence along with the time frame. The helping verb which is used to form the sentence of Past Perfect Tense is “Had”. 

Past Perfect Tense

The definition given by Cambridge Dictionary is defined as “ the form of a verb tense that is used to show that an action had already finished when another action happened in the past”.

According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, Past Perfect Tense is defined as “the form of a verb that expresses an action completed before a particular point in the past, formed in English with had and the past participle.”

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Past Perfect Tense is “ the form of the verb that is used in referring to an action that was completed by a particular time in the past.”  

The Collins Dictionary defines the Past Perfect Tense as “a tense that indicates an action as completed or a state as having ended before a specified or implied time in the past,”

Structure of Past Perfect Tense

Structure of Past Perfect Tense
TypeGeneral Formula & Rule
Past Perfect TenseSubject + Helping Verb (had) + Past participle of the main verb + the rest of the sentence along with the time frame.

Example of Past Perfect Tense

Some examples of this type of tense are-

  • She had met him before the party. (वह पार्टी से पहले उनसे मिली थीं।)
  • The plane had left by the time I got to the airport. (जब तक मैं हवाईअड्डा पहुंचा तब तक विमान वहां से निकल चुका था)
  • I had written the email before he apologized.(उसके माफी मांगने से पहले मैंने ईमेल लिखा था।)
  • Kate had climbed many trees when he was a boy.(केट बचपन में कई पेड़ों पर चढ़ चुकी थी।)

Structure of Sentences of Past Perfect Tense

 Past Perfect Tense sentences can be in three forms, that is, Positive or Affirmative, Negative, and Interrogative sentences. Below is the structure of all three forms and examples to make you understand better.

Structure of Sentences in Positive/Affirmative Form

Positive/Affirmative Sentences
Subject + had + Verb(3rd form) + Object

Examples of Positive/Affirmative Sentences:

  • John had eaten a cake before you arrived. (आपके आने से पहले जॉन ने एक केक खाया था।)
  • They had painted the fence before I had a chance to speak to them. (मुझे उनसे बात करने का मौका मिलने से पहले उन्होंने बाड़ को रंग दिया था।)
  • I had seen this place before. (मैंने इस जगह को पहले देखा था।)
  • She understood the movie only because she had read the book. (वह फिल्म को सिर्फ इसलिए समझ पाई क्योंकि उसने किताब पढ़ ली थी।)
  • Charu had been to a club before last night. (चारू बीती रात से पहले एक क्लब में गई थी।)

Structure of Sentences in Negative Form

Negative Sentences
Subject + had not + Verb(3rd form) + Object

Examples of Negative Sentences:

  • I had not seen this place before. (मैंने यह जगह पहले नहीं देखी थी।)
  • She understood the movie only because she had not read the book. (वह फिल्म को केवल इसलिए समझती थी क्योंकि उसने किताब नहीं पढ़ी थी।)
  • Charu had not been to the club before last night. (चारू कल रात से पहले क्लब नहीं गई थी।)

Structure of Sentences in Interrogative Form

Interrogative Sentences
Had + Subject + Verb(3rd form) + Object?

Examples of  Interrogative Sentences:

  • Had I seen this place before? (क्या मैंने यह जगह पहले देखी थी?)
  • Had she read the book? (क्या उसने किताब पढ़ी थी?)
  • Had Charu been to a club before last night? (क्या चारू कल रात से पहले क्लब जा चुकी थी?)
  • Had we booked in advance? (क्या हमने पहले से बुकिंग कर ली थी?)

Contraction With Past Perfect Tense

When we use the Past Perfect Tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and the helping verb. We also sometimes do this in informal writing:

I hadI'd
You hadYou'd
He hadHe'd
She hadShe'd
It hadIt'd
We hadWe'd
They hadThey'd

For example-

  • I'd eaten already.
  • They'd gone home.

In negative sentences, we may contract the auxiliary verb and “not”.

  • I hadn't finished myself.
  • Anthony hadn't had a day off for a month.

Tense Chart of Past Perfect Tense in Hindi

 Past
Perfect

चुका था, चुकी थी, चुके थे, या था + पहले/बाद 

Sub + Had + V3 + Object + Before + Sub + V2 + Object

Sub + V2 + Object + after + Sub + Had + V3 + Object

Uses of Past Perfect Tense

The uses of Past Perfect Tense are-

  1. The Past Perfect describes an action completed before a certain moment in the past.
  2. If two actions happened in the past, it may be necessary to show which action happened earlier than the other. The Past Perfect is mainly used in such situations. The Simple Past is used in one clause and the Past Perfect in the other.

Example of Uses of Past Perfect Tense

Examples of uses of Past Perfect Tense are-

1. The Past Perfect describes an action completed before a certain moment in the past.

  • I met him in New Delhi in 1996. I had seen his last five years before. (मैं उनसे 1996 में नई दिल्ली में मिला था। मैंने उनका आखिरी पांच साल पहले देखा था।)

2. If two actions happened in the past, it may be necessary to show which action happened earlier than the other. The Past Perfect is mainly used in such situations. The Simple Past is used in one clause and the Past Perfect in the other. 

  • When I reached the station the train had started. (जब मैं स्टेशन पहुंचा तो ट्रेन चल चुकी थी।)
  • I had gone to my exercise. (मैं व्यायाम के लिए गया था।)
  • I had written the letter before he arrived. (उनके आने से पहले मैंने पत्र लिखा था।)

Exercise1:  

Translate Past Perfect Tense sentences from English to Hindi-
Exercise: Answer
She stayed up all night because she had received good news.वह रात भर जागती रही क्योंकि उसे खुशखबरी मिली थी।
They lost many of the rounds because they had not practiced enough.उन्होंने कई राउंड गंवाए क्योंकि उन्होंने पर्याप्त अभ्यास नहीं किया था।
Aneeta had met Ryan before you introduced him to us at the party.पार्टी में हमारा परिचय कराने से पहले अनीता रयान से मिली थी
You had studied French before you moved to France.फ्रांस जाने से पहले आपने फ्रेंच का अध्ययन किया था।
She had established her company before 2010.उसने 2010 से पहले अपनी कंपनी की स्थापना की थी।
He had never played basketball until last week.उन्होंने पिछले हफ्ते तक कभी बास्केटबॉल नहीं खेला था।
They had gotten engaged before last month.उन्होंने पिछले महीने से पहले सगाई कर ली थी।
I had fallen asleep before ten o'clock.मैं दस बजे से पहले सो गया था।
The teacher asked if we had studied for the semester.शिक्षक ने पूछा कि क्या हमने सेमेस्टर के लिए अध्ययन किया था।
The usher asked if we had purchased our movie tickets.अशर ने पूछा कि क्या हमने अपने मूवी टिकट खरीदे हैं।

Exercise2:  

Translate Simple Past(Indefinite)Tense sentences from Hindi to English -
Exercise: Answer
उनके आने से पहले मैंने विभिन्न विषयों पर पत्रिकाएँ लिखी थीं। I had written journals on various topics before he came.
तुम्हारे आने से पहले उसने तरह-तरह की कहानियाँ पढ़ी थीं।He had read different kinds of stories before you came.
बारिश शुरू होने से पहले उन्होंने उस मैदान पर बास्केटबॉल खेला था।They had played basketball on that field before it started to rain.
घर आने से पहले वह कोल्ड कॉफी शॉप गई थी। She had gone to the cold coffee shop before she came home.
कक्षा में आने से पहले वह पुस्तकालय कक्ष में पढ़ता था।He had studied in the library room before he came to the class.
तुम्हारे कमरे से निकलने के बाद मैं यहाँ आया थाI came here after you had left the room.
घर आने से पहले हमने उस मार्ट में खरीदारी की थी। We had shopped in that mart before we came home.
उनके आने से पहले हमने उस थिएटर में एक फिल्म देखी थी।We had watched a movie in that theatre before he came.
घर आने से पहले तुमने उस मॉल में खरीदारी की थी। You had shopped in that mall before you came home.
कार्यक्रम शुरू होने से पहले मैंने मधुर गीतों का अभ्यास किया था।I had practiced the  melodious songs before the program started.
Related Links
Tense ChartPresent Tense
Simple Present TensePresent Perfect Tense
Present Continuous TensePresent Perfect Continuous Tense
Past TenseSimple Past Tense
Past Perfect Tense- FAQs

Ans. When the verb defines/denotes an activity that is used to represent an event or action that happened in the past before another event or action that happened in the past, then such verb is used as Past Perfect Tense.

Ans. Some of the examples of Past Perfect Tense are- She had met him before the party, The plane had left by the time I got to the airport, I had written the email before he apologized.

Ans. The structure of Past Perfect Tense are- Subject + Helping Verb (had) + Past participle of the main verb + the rest of the sentence along with the time frame.

Ans. The uses of Past Perfect Tense are- The Past Perfect describes an action completed before before a certain moment in the past. If two actions happened in the past, it may be necessary to show which action happened earlier than the other. The Past Perfect is mainly used in such situations. The Simple Past is used in one clause and the Past Perfect in the other.

Ans. The point to be remembered is that while using the past perfect tense is that it has a helping verb ‘had’ is used along with past participle.

Important Links