Definition of past perfect in English:

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past perfect

Pronunciation: /ˈˌpast ˈpərfəkt/


(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.
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.


The past perfect tense.
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).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: past per·fect

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