The past perfect simple expresses an action taking place before a certain time in the past.
Form of Past Perfect Simple
|no differences||I had spoken.||I had not spoken.||Had I spoken?|
For irregular verbs, use the past participle form (see list of irregular verbs, 3rd column). For regular verbs, just add ed.
Exceptions in Spelling when Adding ed
|Exceptions in Spelling when Adding ed||Example|
|after final e, only add d||love – loved|
|final consonant after a short, stressed vowel
or l as final consonant after a vowel is doubled
|admit – admitted
travel – travelled
|final y after a consonant becomes i||hurry – hurried|
Use of Past Perfect
- action taking place before a certain time in the past
(putting emphasis only on the fact, not the duration)Example: Before I came here, I had spoken to Jack.
- Conditional Sentences Type III (condition that was not given in the past)Example: If I had seen him, I would have talked to him.
- already, just, never, not yet, once, until that day (with reference to the past, not the present)
- If-Satz Typ III (If I had talked, …)