“I was born in the year 1976 in a remote village to the north of Oaurzazate ,Morocco. In 1986 I finished my primary school studies. I had lived during my primary education with a cousin named Lahcen. I joined University in 1996 to study English language and literature after I had taken my baccalaureate from a high school in Ouarzazte . Before 1996 I had chosen to study letters. I had been learning English for 4 years in Agadir ;then, I graduated with a bachelor of arts in the year 2000.”
Notice that the text is in the past tense.
Notice that there are two “different” tenses: The past simple and the past perfect.
When do we use Past perfect ?
The past perfect tense, therefore, is used when we want to speak about two actions in the past: one happening first and the second later. The second action should always be in the past simple. AND THE ONE THAT HAPPENED BEFORE IT IS IN THE PAST PERFECT (PROGRESSIVE).
In brief, We use the past perfect for an action which happened before another action or before a certain time in the past.
Past Perfect Form :
Subject + Had + Verb in the past participle.
When I arrived in the station yesterday at 9:00, the train had already left
I had taken many courses in English language before I got a job. (This means, for example, that I had studied English from 1996 to 2000.And then I got a job in 2002)
Many Palestinians left their land after Israel had built the wall around their farms. (This means that Israel built the wall first and then the Palestinians left their land)
Jasmine had emigrated before she finished her studies. (This means for example that Jasmine emigrated in the year 1995 and she finished her studies in 1999)
Before the year 1946, the world had been fighting a terrible war.
When the students arrived in the classroom yesterday morning, the teacher had been waiting for almost 30minutes.
In these last examples (5 and 6) we have the past perfect continuous because the verbs used are progressive ones: “to fight” and “to wait”.
MoroccoEnglish.com’s webmaster, High School teacher of English, from Nador and currently working in Bouarfa city. A BA degree holder, from Mohamed first university in Oujda .
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