Past Perfect Tense

Had + V3 (Past Participle)

Past Perfect is used to say that something had been done before another thing in the past:
-     Sarah and Jane had been asleep when their parents came home:
-     By the time the manager arrived, we had finished the monthly reports.
-     When I arrived at the party last night, Jane had already gone home. (The party was held last night. I came to the party last night, but before I arrived, Jane had gone home)

Compare the use of Past Perfect (Had + V3) and Past Simple (V2):

(Sebelum sesuatu terjadi di masa lampau, sesuatu yang lain terjadi terlebih dahulu)
(Hanya menceritakan sesuatu terjadi di masa lampau)
When I arrived at the party, Jane had already gone home
When I arrived at the party, Jane was still there but she went home soon afterwards
Sarah had just finished preparing the dinner when I phoned
Sarah didn’t answer my call. She was busy preparing the dinner
My parents had already slept by the time I got home
I was so tired last night. So, I went to bed earlier

When we use Before or After, we may use either Past Perfect or Past Simple:

My parents had slept before I got home
My parents slept before I got home
After I had finished my report, I went to bed
After I finished my report, I went to bed
Using the words Before and After make clear the time relation, so using Past Simple is enough. (Using both tenses are all correct with no difference in meaning)


Compare the use of Present Perfect and Past Perfect:

I am so tired. I have worked hard
I was so tired yesterday. I had worked hard
I have cleaned the kitchen. My mother is happy with that
I had cleaned the kitchen. My mother was happy with that
Sarah is hungry. She hasn’t had breakfast
Sarah was hungry. She hadn’t had breakfast

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