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Language Tip: Simple Past Perfect


image grammarThe simple past perfect describes an action which took place before another action in the past or an action which happened very long time ago.

It is created by using the following: had + past participle (the third form of a verb).

Positive sentence:
We had (We’d) left before Suzan arrived.
They had done their homework before they went skiing.

Negative sentence:
They had not (hadn’t) delivered it before he asked.
This was my first flight. I had not (hadn’t) flown before.

Had they come before she gave her lecture?
Had you manage to sell your old car before you bought a new one?


I was very excited because I had never flown before.

She had cleaned the room before her parents arrived.

If it is clear from the context which action preceded the other one then it is not necessary to use the simple perfect past tense.

After we finished playing we left home.

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