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past perfect tense
The past perfect tense expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past.
To form the past perfect tense, we use had (the past tense of the auxiliary verb have) + the past participle of the main verb.
Because we use the past perfect to highlight two separate points in the past, we often use the conjunctions before, when, because, until, or by the time to specify the order in which they occurred in time.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Grammar) denoting a tense of verbs used in relating past events where the action had already occurred at the time of the action of a main verb that is itself in a past tense. In English this is a compound tense formed with had plus the past participle
a. the past perfect tense
b. a verb in this tense
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. pertaining to or being a verb tense or form indicating that the action or state expressed by the verb was completed prior to a point of reference in the past or that it extended up to or had results continuing up to that point, and consisting in English of had followed by a past participle, as had seen in I had never seen anything like it.n.
2. the past perfect tense.
3. a form in this tense.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||past perfect - a perfective tense used to express action completed in the past; "`I had finished' is an example of the past perfect"|
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