Examples of
Past Perfect Tense


The following examples of Past Perfect tense will help you understand and use this tense properly and naturally.

Examples of English Tenses

Before reading through, make sure you are familiar with the usage and rules of this tense – visit the Past Perfect Tense page.

Note: the Past Perfect verbs are italics.

And now, let the examples begin!

Past Perfect Tense Example Sentences

An action that happened before another action in the past:

I lost so much weight because I had begun exercising.

He stayed up all night because he had received a lot of homework.

Rachel hadn't lost hope, and in the end she found her baby.

I had met him before you introduced us.

They were in shock because they had never thought about it before.

We hadn't prepared at all before we took that test.

You said you had bought this dress in the mall.

You had studied German before you moved to Germany.

He hadn't studied Italian before he move to Italy.

I did not have any money because I had left my wallet at home.


An action that happened before a specific time in the past:

I had already fallen asleep before ten o'clock.

They had established their business before 2002.

We had gotten married before 1985.

Kate had never played the drums until last night.

A state that started in the past,
and continued up to some time in the past
(Note: this is a broader use of this tense. It is usually used with states, not actions):

Molly had wanted a guitar, but she received a book.

They had lived in Italy for twelve years before they moved to England.

I had owned this place for two years before I sold it.

You had used that pen before it was lost.

I had had that house for eight years before the fire.



The above examples of Past Perfect Tense are here to help you understand and use this tense properly and naturally.

You should also get familiar with its usage and rules – visit the Past Perfect Tense page to help you with that.

For exercises visit the Past Perfect Exercises.


Check out the other tenses:

Simple Present

Simple Past

Simple Future

Present Progressive


Past Progressive


Future Progressive


Present Perfect


Past Perfect


Future Perfect


Present Perfect Progressive


Past Perfect Progressive


Future Perfect Progressive

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