Jan 262013

In this episode of iswearenglish 100: Formation and Use of Tenses in English series you can learn about how to use the Present Continuous and the Present Simple to talk about the Future.

How To Form The Past Perfect Simple:
Take a subject (I, the children etc) then put the auxiliary verb to have in the past simple (I had…, the children had…) and then use the past participle of the verb you wish to use (picked, taken). To make the past participle use the compliment plus …ed for regular verbs, or column 3 for irregular verbs. Put this all together and we have I had picked, the children had taken. Note this can be contracted to I’d picked, the children’d taken. To form negatives put not after the auxiliary had. I had not picked, the children had not taken. Notice that this can be contracted to I hadn’t picked, the children hadn’t taken. To make questions change the positions of the subject and the auxiliary verb had. Had I picked? Had the children taken? If you wish you can add a question word at the beginning of the sentence. Why had I picked? What had the children taken?

The table set out below shows how it works:

Affirmative Negative Interrogative
I had picked I had not picked Had I picked?
You had picked You had not picked Had you picked?
He had picked He had not picked Had he picked?
She had picked She had not picked Had she picked?
It had picked It had not picked Had it picked?
We had picked We had not picked Had we picked?
You had picked You had not picked Had you picked?
They had picked They had not picked Had they picked?


How To Use The Past Perfect Simple:
We use the past perfect simple to indicate the past in the past. This means that one thing in the past happened before another thing in the past. For example: Before I came to live in Spain I had lived in England for many years. This shows that in the past I came to live in Spain, but before that I lived in England. This tense is very commonly used in conjunction with the word before and a past simple tense. It is not necessary to use the past perfect simple , as we can say before I came to live in Spain, I lived in England. However the past perfect simple makes our meaning clearer.


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