Definition of past perfect in English:

past perfect

Syllabification: past per·fect

adjective

Grammar
  • (Of a tense) denoting an action completed prior to some past point of time specified or implied, formed in English by had and the past participle, as in he had gone by then.
    More example sentences
    • The past perfect tense effects the time shift.
    • For instance, the author systematically misuses the past perfect tense and passive voice in a way that makes it impossible to understand temporal relations.
    • The class was rather interesting for him, they were learning more of the present and past perfect tenses.

noun

Back to top  
  • The past perfect tense.
    More example sentences
    • I mean experiments with stuff, with voices, tenses, the ablative, the past perfect.
    • This passage gestures towards both the past perfect, and future tenses, situating the term ‘habits’ between them in a manner suggesting mediation.
    • Use of present perfect for simple past (I have seen her yesterday I saw her yesterday) and past perfect for present perfect (He had already gone home He has already gone home).

More definitions of past perfect

Definition of past perfect in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
noun
used to address an English nobleman