1. Past Perfect
[had + past participle]
• You had studied English before you moved to New York. Afirmativo
• Had you studied English before you moved to New York? Pregunta
• You had not studied English before you moved to New York. Negativo
The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happenedbefore a specific time in the past.
• A: Had you ever visited the U.S. before your trip in 2006?
B: Yes, I had been to the U.S. once before.
• We had had that car for ten years before it broke down.
• By the time Alex finished his studies, he had been in London for over eight years.
• They felt bad about selling the house because they had owned it for more than forty years.
The examplesbelow show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.
• Kristine had never been to an opera before last night
• You had previously studied English before you moved to New York.
• Had you previously studied English before you moved to New York?
ACTIVE / PASSIVE
• George had repaired many cars before he received hismechanic's license.Active
• Many cars had been repaired by George before he received his mechanic's license. Passive
2. Past Perfect Continuous
[had been + present participle]
• You had been waiting there for more than two hours when she finally arrived.
• Had you been waiting there for more than two hours when she finally arrived?
• You had not been waiting there for more thantwo hours when she finally arrived.
We use the Past Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past. "For five minutes" and "for two weeks" are both durations which can be used with the Past Perfect Continuous. Notice that this is related to the Present Perfect Continuous; however, the duration does not continue until now, it stopsbefore something else in the past.
• They had been talking for over an hour before Tony arrived.
• She had been working at that company for three years when it went out of business.
• How long had you been waiting to get on the bus?
• You had only been waiting there for a few minutes when she arrived.
• Had you only been waiting there for a few minutes when she arrived?Using the Past Perfect Continuous before another action in the past is a good way to show cause and effect.
• Jason was tired because he had been jogging.
• Sam gained weight because he had been overeating.
• Betty failed the final test because she had not been attending class.
Past Continuous vs. Past Perfect Continuous
If you do not include a duration such as "for fiveminutes," "for two weeks" or "since Friday," many English speakers choose to use the Past Continuous rather than the Past Perfect Continuous. Be careful because this can change the meaning of the sentence. Past Continuous emphasizes interrupted actions, whereas Past Perfect Continuous emphasizes a duration of time before something in the past. Study the examples below to understand the difference.Examples:
• He was tired because he was exercising so hard.
This sentence emphasizes that he was tired because he was exercising at that exact moment.
• He was tired because he had been exercising so hard.
This sentence emphasizes that he was tired because he had been exercising over a period of time. It is possible that he was still exercising at that moment OR that he had just finished.It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Past Perfect Continuous with these verbs, you must use Past Perfect.
• The motorcycle had been belonging to George for years before Tina bought it. Not Correct
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