form: past (v)have + past participle
One way of thinking about the Past Perfect is to think of using a double past.
Let me explain.
When you talk or write about things that happened in the past, you put your verbs in Past Simple form.
When you are using Past Simple, and you need to talk about something being farther in the past, you use Past Perfect.
See STORY example: A few weeks ago, my friend, Josh, asked me if I had ever gone ice fishing.
Imagine you are the writer of this story. The story begins with the line “a few weeks ago”. Your story is about something that happened a few weeks ago – which is the past. So you use Past Simple verbs to tell your story (e.g., Josh asked me.)
Okay, stay with me.
Let’s imagine you sit down to write this story on February 1. That means that “a few weeks ago” was about January 15. On January 15, you and Josh had a conversation.
In that conversation on January 15 (i.e., the past), Josh asked about your experiences. He asked about your experiences before January 15.
To write your story, you now need a verb form that goes farther back in the past than Past Simple.
And this is when you use Past Perfect!
So celebrate – because now you have a “perfect” way to write your story!
See example: Spring had arrived.
In the example, the story is in the past. Spring arrived before the story started.
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