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Past Perfect Tense

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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Tenses hold vital importance in English grammar and language. The term tense has literal meaning of stress or tension but in English grammar it depicts something entirely different.

Today I will discuss about the term tense and what it means in English grammar. Along with that I will discuss past perfect tense in detail so that you can understand its usage in language with the help of examples.


Tense is described as the quality of a verb which occurs in a sentence and which describes the time frame of the action taking place. In simpler terms, the occurrence of action of a sentence is depicted by the tense of that sentence.


He likes bananas.

In the above example, the verb likes indicates that the action is taking place right now and is not an event of the past or future, thus we know that the tense of this sentence is present.

The basic categorization of tense is that it can exist in three forms which are past, present and future. This means that a verb also comes in three forms i.e. past, present and future.

Past Tense

A verb is said to be in past tense when the action it is describing has taken place at point in the past.


She sang well at the party.

This example makes use of second form of verb i.e. sang and thus it indicates that the action is of past.

But is doesn’t end there. The past tense is further divided into different forms and types which include past indefinite tense, past continuous tense, past perfect tense and past perfect continuous tense.

Today I will talk about past perfect tense.

Past Perfect Tense

Past continuous indicates that some action was completed in the past beyond some specific time in a sentence.


She had watched television the whole night.

The example indicates that the action of watching television was done before some point in the past.

A verb exists in past perfect tense when it is in third form with had preceding the verb.  


The boys had stood at the bus stop..

The above example is also that of past perfect tense. Notice that the third form of verb stood is used and had before it which represents that time of the action was that of the past beyond a certain point.


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