terça-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2010

Past Perfect - The Past Before the Past - A Further Past"

Hi there, Flabbergasting English followers,

We are very thankful for those who loyally come by and leave us e-mails with suggestions and topics they would like to learn about. Be sure that your presence and eagerness to brush up on your English is what motivates us to sit down, select the topics and post them. Keep on contacting us at rphingles@yahoo.com.br

So let us try to sort out any problem you may have had with PAST PERFECT so far. We had really decided to write about it when three of the followers requested it.

Past Perfect...

a.k.a the past of the past or a further past from the moment of the enunciation. If someone has stolen the wallet that was on the table, it is presumable that somebody had put that wallet on that table before it was stolen. That is, "putting the wallet on the table" happened before "It was stolen."

Thus, the sentence should be "Someone stole the wallet I had put on the table." or "I had put the wallet on the table and somebody stole it."
Now that you know the usage of Past Perfect, we can work on its structures. Firstly, you have to keep in mind that "HAD" and "HADN'T" or "HAD NOT", the past and negative forms of "HAVE", are the auxiliary verbs now. The main verb must be in its past participle form (third column).

i.e.: Van had chatted a lot with Rod before she crushed her bed.

Van hadn't done her homework when her mother arrived.

Had she done her homework when her mother arrived?
No, she hadn't.
Yes, she had.

That is all you need to know to start using the PAST PERFECT. For Portuguese speakers, it might be easier because it can be translated word-by-word and the meaning would be exactly the same.

Thank y'all for the visits, comments and suggestions,

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

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