ENglish - VinglisH!

Dear Students,
English Section in the exam is a section where some students score very well but others even fail to clear cut-off. Learning Grammar is really essential to score good marks. But, what happens is that students from various boards where lesser attention is paid on English language fail to apply grammar during the examination even if they know the rules. 

So, conclusion is that practicing in some interesting way so that the things remain intact in your mind is important. Keeping this in mind, we have launched this series of "ENglish - VinglisH". We have discussed some basic sentence errors and use of some basic words in English. Also, we learnt about the basic categorization of Tenses. Now, we will proceed with detailed explanation of every type of tense - one in a day.

This is the Thirteenth post of ENglish - VinglisH. Hope you people like it.

So, lets start now!!

TENSES are that part of grammar which drastically changes the meaning of a sentences. Tenses play a vital role in Communication otherwise you can do blunders like describing an event which happened in past as an event of future.

Today we will discuss about Past Perfect Tense.

Past Perfect Tense

It is used to express an action which has happened or completed in past (usually a long time ago). In this tense, time should not come. If time is mentioned in the tense, then it will become past indefinite tense. So, it can be said that it is the difference between Simple Past Tense and Past Perfect Tense.

But we can use a clause with since, for, till, by then, before, by today/yesterday/evening etc. to show when something started in the Past Perfect Tense. 

The patient had died.Past Perfect Tense.
The patient died at 3 pm - Past Indefinite (Because time has come in the sentence)

Some more examples of Past Perfect Tense are as below:

They had been staying with us since the previous week.
I was sorry when the factory closed. I had worked there since I left school.

In brief we can say that we use the past perfect to talk about the past in conditions, hypotheses and wishes.

I would have helped him if he had asked. ---  Condition
It was very dangerous. What if you had got lost?  --- Hypotheses
I wish I hadn’t spent so much money in the last ten days.  --- Wish
I couldn’t get into the house. I had lost my keys. --- Condition
My twentieth birthday was the worst day I had ever had. --- Condition
I was sorry when the school closed. I had studied there since childhood. --- Condition
He had written four books and he was working on another one. --- Condition
Everything was wet. It had been raining for hours. --- Condition
I had finished the work. --- Condition

Identification - 

The past perfect refers to a time earlier than before now. We use the verb had and the past participle for the past perfect:

Identification from Hindi Sentences:

ऐसे वाक्यों के अंत में 'आया था' 'गया था' 'चुका था' 'चुकी थी' 'चुके थे' आदि का प्रयोग होता है । ऐसे वाक्‍यों में समय का प्रयोग नहीं आना चाहिए ।

वह बैठ गई थी - She had sat down - Past Perfect Tense.
वह बैठ गई - She sat down - Past Indefinite 

मैंने आपको दो सेब दे दिए थे - I had given you two apples. - Past Perfect Tense.
मैंने आपको दो सेब दे दिए - I gave you two apples. - Past Indefinite

Use of Verb

We use the verb "had" and the past participle for the past perfect.

In every form of Tense, there are four types of sentences:

1. Positive/ Affirmative Sentence  (simple statement is used)
2. Negative Sentence (no, not is used)
3. Interrogative Sentence (Question is asked)

4. Interrogative - Negative Sentence (Question is asked with no, or not)

Positive/ Affirmative Sentences
{Sub+had + Verb(3rd form) + Object}

Negative Sentences

{Sub+had + not + Verb(3rd form) + Object}

I was studying.
I was not studying.
We were studying.
We were not studying.
You were studying.
You were not studying.
He was studying.
He was not studying.
They were studying.
They were not studying.
Raman was reading newspaper.
Raman was not reading newspaper.
Boys were studying.
Boys were not studying.

Interrogative Sentences

{Had+Sub+Verb(3rd form) + Object }
Negative Interrogative Sentences

Had + Sub + not + verb(3rd form)  + Object
Was I studying?
Was not I studying?
Were we studying?
Were we not studying?
Were you studying?
Were you not studying?
Was he studying?
Was he not studying?
Were they studying?
Were they not studying?
Was Raman studying newspaper?
Was Raman not studying?
Were the boys studying?
Were the boys not studying?


(I) 'Just' is used with the past perfect to refer to an event that was only a short time earlier than before now, e.g.

  • The train had just left when I arrived at the station.
  • She had just left the room when the police arrived.
  • I had just put the washing out when it started to rain.

(II) If the Past Perfect action did occur at a specific time, the Simple Past can be used instead of the Past Perfect when "before" or "after" is used in the sentence. The words "before" and "after" actually tell you what happens first, so the Past Perfect is optional. For this reason, both sentences below are correct.

Ex - 
She had visited her American relatives once in 2004 before she moved in with them in 2010.
She visited her American relatives once in 2004 before she moved in with them in 2010.

(III) If the Past Perfect is not referring to an action at a specific time, Past Perfect is not optional. Compare the examples below. Here Past Perfect is referring to a lack of experience rather than an action at a specific time. For this reason, Simple Past cannot be used.

Ex - 
She never saw a bear before she moved to Alaska. Not Correct
She had never seen a bear before she moved to Alaska. Correct

Tomorrow we will discuss "Past Perfect Continuous Tense" in Detail.

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