The past perfect tense: how we form it and why we use it
Hi, everyone! I'm James and today we're going to talk about the past perfect tense - how we form it and why we use it.
By the time I arrived at the airport, the plane had already left. In this example, had left is the past perfect tense.
The structure for the past perfect tense is had + a past participle.
There are two past actions: arriving at the airport and the plane leaving. But which of these happened first?
The clue is the past perfect tense. The action in the past perfect is the action that always happens first. Because the verb 'leave' is in the past perfect - had left - we know that this action happened first. The action that happened second is often in the past simple tense - in this example: 'I arrived'.
线索是过去完成时。过去完成时的动作总是先发生。因为动词leave是过去完成时had left，我们知道这个动作首先发生。第二种动作通常用一般过去时，例如:I arrived。
When you want to talk about two past actions, one which happened before the other, remember to use the past perfect for the first action and the past simple for the second.
Thanks for joining us for this English In A Minute.