# 2.7: Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous Tenses

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Read the following sentences. What are the verbs? What tense is used for each verb?

• They had already packed a survival kit when the earthquake hit
• When the wildfires swept across California, many people hadn't been ready

In each sentence, which event happened first? Which event happened second? How is the past perfect formed?

• In the first sentence, the verbs are "had," "packed," and "hit," they had packed first and the earthquake hit second
• In the second sentence, the verbs are "swept" and "hadn't been," the wildfires swept second and people hadn't been ready first
• The past perfect is formed with "had" + past participle

What are the verbs in these sentences? Do the sentences have the same meaning, or different?

• They were packing a survival kit when the earthquake hit
• They had packed a survival kit when the earthquake hit

In which sentence are they ready for the earthquake? In which sentence are they not yet ready? How is past present continuous formed (this is used in the first sentence)?

• In the first sentence, the verbs are "were packing" and "hit," they are not yet ready in this sentence
• In the second sentence, the verbs are "had packed" and "hit," they are ready for the earthquake in this sentence
• The past perfect continuous is formed with "had" + "been" + verb + -ing

## Spelling Rules for Adding -ing to a Verb (Present Participle)

 No change Most verbs: Add -ing Read--reading Talk--talking Say--saying Want--wanting No change Verbs that end in -y: Add -ing Study--studying Carry--carrying Play--playing Change Verbs that end in -e: Drop the -e and add -ing Wake--waking Make--making Tape--taping Change Verbs that end in -ie: Change the -ie to -y Die--dying Lie--lying Change Verbs the end in CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) one-syllable: Double the last letter Stop--stopping Sit--sitting Ban--banning Change Verbs that end in CVC two-syllable: If the stress is on the last syllable, double the last letter Begin--beginning Refer--referring BUT Listen--listening Cancel--canceling

## Ninety Common Irregular Verbs

Be--was/were--been

Beat--beat--beaten

Become--became--become

Begin--began--begun

Blow--blew--blown

Break--broke--broken

Bring--brought--brought

Build--built--built

Burst--burst--burst

Catch--caught--caught

Choose--chose--chosen

Come--came--come

Cost--cost--cost

Cut--cut--cut

Deal--dealt--dealt

Do--die--done

Drink--drank--drunk

Drive--drove--driven

Eat--ate--eaten

Forgive--forgave--forgiven

Freeze--froze--frozen

Get--got--got/gotten

Give--gave--given

Go--went--gone

Grow--grew--grown

Fall--fell--fallen

Feed--fed--fed

Feel--felt--felt

Fight--fought--fought

Find--found--found

Fly--flew--flown

Forget--forgot--forgotten

Hear--heard--heard

Hide--hid--hidden

Hit--hit--hit

Hold--held--held

Hurt--hurt--hurt

Keep--kept--kept

Know--knew--known

Lay--laid--laid

Leave--left--left

Let--let--let

Lie--lay--lain (be in horizontal position; "lie" is regular when it means not to tell the truth)

Lose--lost--lost

Meet--met--met

Pay--paid--paid

Put--put--put

Quit--quit--quit

Ride--rode--ridden

Ring--rang--rung

Rise--rose--risen

Run--ran--run

Say--said--said

See--saw--seen

Seek--sought--sought

Sell--sold--sold

Send--sent--sent

Set--set--set

Shake--shook--shaken

Shine--shone--shone

Sing--sang--sung

Sleep--slept--slept

Speak--spoke--spoken

Spend--spent--spent

Spring--sprang--sprung

Stand--stood--stood

Steal--stole--stolen

Swim--swam--swum

Swing--swung--swung

Take--took--taken

Teach--taught--taught

Tear--tore--torn

Tell--told--told

Think--thought--thought

Throw--threw--thrown

Understand--understood--understood

Wake--woke--woken

Wear--wore--worn

Win--won--won

Write--wrote--written

## Past Perfect Meaning and Use

Past perfect is used when we want to talk about two events in the past. The first event uses past perfect and the second event uses simple past or past continuous. Both events are completed in the past

• They packed first; then the earthquake hit

## Past Perfect Continuous Meaning and Use

Past perfect continuous is used when we want to discuss two events in the past. The first event began before the second event. The second event interrupted the first. We use past continuous for the first (long) event and simple past for the second (interrupting) event

• They had been packing when the earthquake hit
• (They were packing, but the earthquake interrupted them and they had to stop)

## Videos and Other Resources

Watch this video for more explanation of past perfect tense...

Practice past perfect with this fun grammar gameshow...

For more written explanation and exercises, try this website and this website...

## Practice the Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous Tenses

• Watch the Nepal Earthquake video again. Write three sentences using the past perfect continuous. The earthquake hit at 11:52. What had people been doing when the earthquake hit?