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.
Let’s look at the following example sentence taken from a story.
A few weeks ago, my friend asked me if I had ever gone ice fishing.
Imagine you are the writer. The sentence begins with “a few weeks ago”. You are writing about something that happened a few weeks ago – which is the past. So you use Past Simple verbs to tell your story (e.g., My friend asked me.)
Stay with me!
Let’s imagine you sit down to write this story on February 1. That means that “a few weeks ago” was approximately January 15. On January 15, you and your friend had a conversation.
In that conversation on January 15 (i.e., the past), your friend 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!
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