Past Perfect Tense is used to express an action which has happened or completed a long time ago in past or

before some point in the past.

Past Perfect Tense  वाक्‍य के अंत में ‘आया था’ ‘गया था’ ‘चुका था’ ‘चुकी थी’ ‘चुके थे’ आदि का प्रयोग होता है ।

Past Perfect Tense is used only when we talk about two actions happened or completed in the past that took place one after another. The action that occurred first is expressed in Past Perfect Tense and the that followed is expressed in the simple past tense.


The train had left (Past Perfect) before we reached the station (Simple Past).

The students had completed the paper (first action)

before the bell rang. (second action)

The programme started after the

(second action)

chief guest had inaugurated the auditorium.

(first action)

Look at these 2 sentences.

  • Meera had cooked breakfast when we got up.
  • Meera cooked breakfast when we got up.

In the first sentence, the past perfect tells us that Meera cooked breakfast before we got up.

In the second sentence, first, we got up and then Meera cooked breakfast.


When we talk about two actions in the past that occurred /happened one after another we should use simple past for both the actions if they occurred just before just after.

  1. The bell rang just after I entered the class.
  2. Rani left the job just after Anoop joined.

Time is an important factor in Present Perfect Tense, Past Perfect Tense, and Past Indefinite Tense.

In this sentence, time should not be mentioned. If time is mentioned in Present Perfect Tense and Past Perfect Tense, then it will become past indefinite tense.

ऐसे वाक्‍यों में समय का प्रयोग नहीं आना चाहिए । अगर समय का प्रयोग हो तो वह वाक्‍य पास्‍ट इन्डेफिनेट कहलाते हैं ।

Here the meaning of time does not include certain indicator words -” just, yet, so far, up to no, recently, etc”.

In other words, these indicator words – ” just, yet, so far, up to now, recently, etc” can come in Present Perfect Tense and Past Perfect Tense

but if time -“five minutes, two days, three years, 2012, yesterday, etc” comes in Present Perfect Tense and Past Perfect Tense, they are considered as Past Indefinite Tense.

Note Words like till, by then, before, by today/yesterday/evening etc. are normally used in Past Perfect Tense.
The patient had died. –Past perfect tense.
The patient died at 3 pm – Past Indefinite (Because time has come in the sentence.)


Past Perfect Tense – Positive
Type of Sentence Rule
Positive Subject + Had + Verb (3rd form) + Object + (.)

In Past Perfect Tense, helping verb ‘Had’  and 3rd Form of Main Verb is used in all types of sentences.

पास्‍ट परफेक्‍ट टेन्स में हल्पिंग वर्ब ‘Had’  और 3rd Form of Main Verb सभी प्रकार के वाक्‍यों में इस्‍तेमाल होती है ।

Past Perfect Tense – Positive मैंने सबको भेद बता दिया था ।
Person Subject Had Verb (3rd Form ) Object
Ist person I Had disclosed the secret to all.
Ist Person -Plural We Had disclosed the secret to all.
2nd Person You Had disclosed the secret to all.
3rd Person -Singular He/She/It/Ram Had disclosed the secret to all.
3rd Person -Plural They/boys Had disclosed the secret to all.


गीता घर आ चुकी । Past Indefinite Tense Geeta came home.
गीता घर आ चुकी है । Present Perfect Tense Geeta has come home.
गीता घर आ चुकी थी । Past Perfect Tense Geeta had come home.

When to Use the Past Perfect

So what’s the difference between past perfect and simple past? When you’re talking about some point in the past and want to reference an event that happened even earlier, using the past perfect allows you to convey the sequence of the events. It’s also clearer and more specific. Consider the difference between these two sentences:

We were relieved that Tootles used washable paint.
We were relieved that Tootles had used washable paint.

It’s a subtle difference, but the first sentence doesn’t tie Tootles’s act of using washable paint to any particular moment in time; readers might interpret it as “We were relieved that Tootles was in the habit of using washable paint.” In the second sentence, the past perfect makes it clear that you’re talking about a specific instance of using washable paint.

Another time to use the past perfect is when you are expressing a condition and a result:

If I had woken up earlier this morning, I would have caught Tootles red-handed.

The past perfect is used in the part of the sentence that explains the condition (the if-clause).

Most often, the reason to write a verb in the past perfect tense is to show that it happened before other actions in the same sentence that are described by verbs in the simple past tense. Writing an entire paragraph with every verb in the past perfect tense is unusual.


When Not to Use the Past Perfect

Don’t use the past perfect when you’re not trying to convey some sequence of events. If your friends asked what you did after you discovered the graffiti, they would be confused if you said:

had cleaned it off the door.

They’d likely be wondering what happened next because using the past perfect implies that your action of cleaning the door occurred before something else happened, but you don’t say what that something else is. The “something else” doesn’t always have to be explicitly mentioned, but context needs to make it clear. In this case, there’s no context, so the past perfect doesn’t make sense.

Past perfect continuous

The past perfect can also be used in the continuous.

  • I realized I had been working too hard so I decided to have a holiday.
  • By the time Jane arrived, we had been waiting for 3 hours.

The most common mistake with the past perfect is to overuse it or to use it simply because we are talking about a time in the distant past.

For example, we would not say

The Romans had spoken Latin

but rather

The Romans spoke Latin

because it simply describes a past event and not an event before and relevant to another past event.

Remember that we only use the past perfect when we want to refer to a past that is earlier than another time in the narrative.

Common Irregular Verbs in the Past Perfect Tense

past perfect chart 2

*The past participle of “to get” is “gotten” in American English. In British English, the past participle is “got.”

Passive Voice of Past Perfect Tense

Rules of Active and Passive voice (mentioned below) shows that helping verb ‘Had + Been‘ is used with the 3rd form of the verb for making Passive Voice of Past Perfect Tense.

In case of Negative sentence, ‘Not‘ is added between ‘Had‘ and ‘Been‘ and in case of Interrogative sentence ‘Had‘ comes in the starting of the sentence and place of ‘Been‘ remains before Verb (3rd form)

In all types of sentences – Positive, Negative u0026amp; Interrogative, 3rd form of a verb is used in Passive Voice.


Type of Sentence Rule of making Past Perfect Tense (Active Voice) Rule of converting Past Perfect Tense (Active Voice) to Passive Voice
Positive Subject + Had + Verb (3rd form) + Object + (.) Convert Object to Subject + Had + Been + Verb (3rd form) + By + Convert Subject to Object + Remaining + (.)
Negative Subject + Had + Not + Verb (3rd form) + Object + (.) Convert Object to Subject + Had + Not + Been + Verb (3rd form) + By + Convert Subject to Object + Remaining + (.)
Interrogative Had + Subject + Verb (3rd form) + Object + (?) Had + Convert Object to Subject + Been + Verb (3rd form) + By + Convert Subject to Object + Remaining + (?)



Active Voice Active Voice Passive Voice Passive Voice
पुलिस ने कई बाल मजदूरोंं को बचाया था । Police had rescued number of child labourers. Number of child labourers had been rescued by Police. कई बाल मजदूरों को पुलिस द्वारा बचाया गया था ।
आंतकवादियों ने पीने के पानी को भी दूषित किया था । Terrorists had infected drinking water also. Drinking water also had been infected by terrorists. पीन के पानी को भी आंतकवादिओ द्वारा दूषित किया गया था ।
धीमे हॉकी के खेल ने दर्शको को उकता दिया था । The slow hockey game had bored the spectators. The spectators had been bored by the slow hockey game. दर्शक धीमी हॉकी के खेल द्वारा उकता दिये गये थे ।
व्यवस्था ने बहुत सारे लोगो को दोषी बनाया था । System had made lot many people guilty. A lot many people had been made guilty by the system. बहुत सारे लोग व्यवस्था द्वारा दोषी बनाये गये थे ।
भ्रष्ट अफसरों ने उसको बलि का बकरा बनाया था । The corrupt officers had made him a scapegoat. He had been made a scapegoat by the corrupt officers. वह बलि का बकरा भ्रष्ट अफसरों द्वारा बनाया गया था ।
संस्थान ने 50 सैनिकों को नियुक्त किया था । The organisation had recruited fifty soldiers. Fifty soldiers had been recruited by the organisation. 50 सैनिंक संस्थान द्वारा नियुक्त किये जा चुके थे ।