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|The past perfect tense|
He had finished his work by 5 o’clock yesterday. When we came to the station the train had already left.
Hardly…Scarcely… + Past Perfect … when + Past Simple
1. Comment on the use of the Past Perfect Tense in the following sentences.
2. Complete the sentences using the verbs in brackets in the Past Perfect Tense.
3. Use either the Past Simple or the Past Perfect Tense.
4. Use the right form of the verbs in brackets.
The past perfect continuous tense
1. Read and translate the sentences. Comment on the use of the Past Perfect Continuous Tense.
4. Open the brackets and put the verbs into the proper tense (the Present Simple, the Present Continuous, the Present Perfect Continuous or the Present Perfect Tense).
1. It (snow) steadily the whole week and it still (snow). 2. We (climb) for six hours already, but we (not reach) the top of the mountain yet. 3. The pain already (go) but the child still (cry). 4. The workers (work) very hard these two weeks, they (be) busy with the interior decoration of the house. 5. He (solve) the crossword puzzle for an hour and he (say) he (be) about to solve it as he (think) over the last word. 6. He (work) at the language all the time and (make) great progress. His pronunciation (be) rather good, only a slight accent (remain). 7. Не (finish) the first part of his book and now he (write) the second. He (work) at his book for two years. 8. D. Hoffman, who (play) the hero, (give) a fine performance. 9. Why your hair (be) wet? You (swim)? 10. Doctors and scientists (show) recently the benefit of fish in the diet. 11. As a rule, I (have) porridge for breakfast, but this morning I (order) an omelette. 12. This is the house where I (live). I (live) here since childhood. 13. Stop smoking! The room (be) full of smoke which (come) from your pipe. Usually nobody (smoke) here as Mother (not let) it. 14. I (write) letters home once a week, but I (not write) one this week, so my next letter must be rather long. 15. No wonder she (look) tired after the strain under which she (be) for a month. 16. Why you (not shave) this morning? — I (shave) every other day. 17. Research (show) that lots of people (absorb) new information more efficiently at some times of day than at others. A biological rhythm (affect) different people in different ways. 18.I just (look) at the barometer and (see) that it (fall) very quickly. 19. Don't shout so loudly. Father (not finish) work and he hates if anybody (make a noise) while he (work). 20.I regularly (see) him at the tram stop, but I (not see) him these two or three days. 21. Good gracious, Kit, whatever you (do)? You seem to have all the paint on yourself that there is in the world. 22. I (think) about you all day, Emma. 23. What you (do) since we last (meet)? 24. - You look hot. - Yes, I (play) tennis. 25. I (work) in a bookshop now. I (work) here for about six weeks. 26.I (do) so for thirty years and I'm not going to change my ways. 27. She (have) toothache since she (get) up this morning. 28. How long you (know) Susan? 29. We (write) invitation cards all morning. We (write) eleven already. And we still not (finish) them all. 30. Mary (go out) with Steve for a year now, and they (plan) to get married soon. 31. I (keep) a watch on the road for the last few days, trying to catch a glimpse of you as you passed. 32. And now, gentlemen, I want to know what (go on) here and how long it (go on). 33. He (chase) this girl for half a year but she wouldn't even look at him. 34. They (think) a lot about this situation these past few days, since they (be) home. 35. There's something I (want) to ask you for the last couple of hours.
*The Past Perfect Tense is used:
The Past Perfect is not used to denote a succession of actions. In this case the past simple is used: He got up, went to the bathroom, had breakfast and left for work.
The Past Perfect is used with the conjunctions:
Scarcely… + Past Perfect … when + Past Simple
No sooner + Past Perfect … than + Past Simple
Hardly had he done it when they left.
No sooner had they arrived than it started to rain.
Hardly had the train left the station, when there was an explosion.
Scarcely had I entered the room when the phone rang.
No sooner had I reached the door than I realised it was locked.
1. The programmer had done the work by four o'clock. 2. The policeman asked if there had been any witnesses. 3. By the time we got to the shopping centre it had closed. 4. The students had written the test and were now checking them up. 5. Mike phoned Rosie, but she hadn't returned home yet. 6. We had discussed the news and were now thinking about it. 7. She complained that she was penniless as she had spent all her money. 8. When I came back home, my family had already had dinner and were now watching the film. 9. It turned out that Dick was ill and he had been ill for a fortnight. 10. We learnt that they had been close friends for many years. 11. Hardly had I turned on the television, when I heard shocking news. 12. No sooner had he opened the door than the children rushed to meet him. 13. Scarcely had the inspector opened the envelope when he understood everything. 14. By next morning, the snow that had begun in the night had turned into a blizzard so thick that the last class of the term was cancelled. 15. She had a stock of excuses, as usual, when in fact she had overslept as usual.
1. My best friend, Kevin, was no longer there. He ... (go) away. 2. The local cinema was no longer open. It ... (close) down. 3. Mr. Johnson was no longer alive. He ... (die). 4. I didn't recognize Mrs Johnson. She ... (change) a lot. 5. Bill no longer had his car. He ... (sell) it. 6. The woman was a complete stranger to me. I... (not, see) before. 7. Margaret was late for work. Her boss was very surprised. She ... never (be) late. 8. Jane played tennis yesterday, at least she tried to play tennis. She wasn't very good at it because she (play) .... 9. It was Keith's first driving lesson. He was very nervous and didn't know what to do. He ... never (drive). 10. From downstairs came the sound of a radio playing a song I (not hear) before. 11. I didn’t listen to that play on the radio because I (hear) it before. 12. It was the first mistake he (make) in that job. 13. When Mike (shave) off his beard he looked much younger. 14. The children (clean) everything up by the time their parents returned. 15. After he (finish) his breakfast he sat down to write some letters. 16. By the end of the year they finally (get) their pay-rise. 17. We were driving along the road when we saw a car which (break) down. 18. The house was very quiet when I got home. The kids already (go) to bed. 19. She refused to admit that the accident (be) her fault. 20. He hardly (utter) some words when they began laughing.
1. The result last term (be) better than anyone (expect). 2. What (happen) next was just what everyone (fear). 3. No one (agree; with him. This was something he (not anticipate). 4. They (make) better progress than they ever (dare) to hope for. 5. They (begin) the exploration of a territory that no European ever (set) foot on before. 6. The motorist (discover) to his relief that he (not take) the wrong road after all. 7. The Government (find) itself forced to adopt policies it earlier (reject). 8. When Queen Victoria (die) in 1901, she (reign) for over 60 years.9. I (write) to the suppliers asking why the goods (not arrive) yet. 10. I (call) at the manager's office, but I just (miss) him. He (go out) for lunch. 11. The scientist suddenly (see) the answer to the problem that (occupy) his mind for the last two months. 12. The Company (decide) to continue with a design that (stand) the test of time. 13. Whenever Tom (pass) the house he remembered the years he (spend) there. 14. She (say) she (hire) a lawyer to watch over her rights. 15. When they (settle) the agenda, the committee (circulate) it to all members of the society. 16. He (refuse) to sign a document until he (clear up) certain points.
1. She (talk) about the party she (arrange) for the children who (attend) her Sunday-school classes. 2. Emma suspected he (arrive) at the truth years ago. 3. Jack and Amelia were the only family she ever (have). 4. She got dressed in the cotton shorts and top she (wear) the day before. 5. Mary glanced over at the clock. It (be) nearly nine. She recently (learn) to tell the time. 6. Her words had touched the core of me, and I realized with a small shock how badly I (behave), I (think) only of myself. 7. They (be) truly good friends again, closer that they ever (be). 8. It was lovely to hear her laugh again. He not (hear) her laugh in years. 9. The police cordoned off the street where the bomb (go off). 10. The suspect refused that he (assault) a policeman. 11. The prisoner (spend) almost a month digging a tunnel before the guards (discover) it. 12. He said he (be) awfully sorry for the things he (do). 13. She seated herself in the chair Bill (pull) out for her. 14. The tense, worried expression he invariably wore, (disappear). Now it (be) smooth, free of pain and concern. 15. Roger guessed that she just (make) a dreadful slip of the tongue. 16. Before the mid-nineteenth century, no dentist (use) anesthesia.
*The Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used:
1. Later that afternoon, Derek put down the script he had been reading. 2. That evening Diana called me from London, and I told her what I'd been doing all day. 3. Emma, who had been listening attentively, knew with absolute certainty that he was speaking the truth. 4. Katy looked at Sue and knew that she had been weeping. 5. Catherine, who had been looking at her mother intently, now spoke in a concerned voice. 6. It just happened so that she knew what her son had been doing. He had been courting her personal clients in an effort to take them over himself. But it wouldn't work as long as she was head of the company. 7. Andrew, who is English, had been living in New York for seven years when we met. We had been seeing each other for only two months when he asked me to marry him. 8. I had been hearing and reading about the Vatican for so long that I was genuinely keen to see it.
2. Put each verb in brackets into a suitable past verb form.
1. He (give) me back the book, (thank) me for lending it to him and (say) that he (enjoy) it very much; but I (know) that he (not read) it because most of the pages (be) still uncut. 2. When he (see) his wife off at the station, he (return) home as he (not have) to be at the airport till 9.30. 3. He (not have) to pack, for his wife already (do) that for him and his case (be) ready in the hall. 4. He (not have) to check the doors and windows either, for his wife always (do) that before she (leave) the house. 5. All he (have) to do (be) to decide whether or not to take his overcoat with him. In the end he (decide) not to. 6. At 8.30 he (pick) up his case, (go) out of the house and (slam) the door behind him. 7. Then he (feel) in his pockets for the key, for his wife (remind) him to double-lock the front door. 8. When he (search) all his pockets and (find) no key he (remember) where it (be). 9. He (leave) it in his overcoat pocket. 10. Then he (remember) something else; his passport and tickets (be) in his overcoat pocket as well. 11. I (arrive) in England in the middle of July. I (be told) that England (be) shrouded in fog all year round, so I (be) quite surprised to find that it was merely raining. 12. I (ask) another passenger, an Englishman, about the fog and he (say) that there (not be) any since the previous February. 13. If I (want) fog, he said, I (come) at quite the wrong time. 14. However, he (tell) me that I could buy tinned fog at a shop in Shaftesbury Avenue. 15. He (admit) that he never (buy) fog there himself but (assure) me that they (sell) good quality fog and that it (not be) expensive. I suppose he was joking. 16. When the old lady (return) to her flat she (see) at once that burglars (break) in during her absence, because the front door (be) open and everything in the flat (be) upside down. 17. The burglars themselves (be) no longer there, but they probably only just (leave) because a cigarette was still burning on an ornamental table. 18. Probably they (hear) the lift coming up and (run) down the fire escape. 19. They (help) themselves to her whisky too but there (be) a little left, so she (pour) herself out a drink. 20. She (wonder) if they (find) her jewellery and rather (hope) that they had. 21. The jewellery (be given) her by her husband, who (die) some years before. 22. Since his death she (not have) the heart to wear it, yet she (not like) to sell it. 23. Now it (seem) that fate (take) the matter out of her hands; and certainly the insurance money would come in handy.
3. Put each verb in brackets into a suitable past verb form.
1. I (put) the $5 note into one of my books; but next day it (take) me ages to find it because I (forget) which book I (put) it into. 2. A woman (come) in with a baby, who she (say) just (swallow) a safety pin. 3. I (think) my train (leave) at 14.33, and (be) very disappointed when I (arrive) at 14.30 and (learn) that it just (leave). 4. I (find) later that I (use) an out-of-date timetable. 5. He (park) his car under a No Parking sign and (rush) into the shop. When he (come) out of the shop ten minutes later the car (be) no longer there. 6. He (wonder) if someone (steal) it or if the police (drive) it away. 7. It (be) now 6 p.m.; and Jack (be) tired because he (work) hard all day. 8. He (be) also hungry because he (have) nothing to eat since breakfast. 9. His wife usually (bring) him sandwiches at lunch time, but today for some reason she (not come). 10. He (keep) looking at her, wondering where he (see) her before. 11. I (look) out before I (go) to bed and (see) a man standing on the opposite pavement watching the house. 12. When I (get up) the following morning he (be) still there, and I (wonder) whether he (stay) there all night or if he (go) away and (come) back. 13. When I (open) the door I (see) a man on his knees. 14. He clearly (listen) to our conversation and I (wonder) how much he (hear). 15.When I (ask) him what he (do), he (say) that he (drop) a 50p piece outside the door and (look) for it. 16. I (not see) any sign of the money, but I (find) a small notebook and pencil which he probably (drop) when the door (open) suddenly. 17. So he (take) notes of our conversation! 18. The notes (be) written in a foreign language, so I (turn) to the stranger and (ask) him to translate. 19. But he (pull) my hat over my eyes and (run) off down the corridor. 20. By the time I (recover) from the shock he (disappear) round the corner. 21. Curiously enough, when I (move) my foot I (find) that I (stand) on a 50p.
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