Past perfect

Funciones del "past perfect"

El "past perfect" hace referencia a un tiempo anterior al pasado reciente. Se emplea para señalar que un evento ocurrió antes que otro en el pasado. No importa cuál de los eventos se mencione primero, porque el tiempo verbal deja claro el orden temporal en que acontecieron.

En estos ejemplos, el Evento A es el que primero ocurrió y el Evento B tuvo lugar a continuación, es el más reciente:

Evento A Evento B
John had gone out when I arrived in the office.
Evento A Evento B
I had saved my document before the computer crashed.
Evento B Evento A
When they arrived we had already started cooking.
Evento B Evento A
He was very tired because he hadn't slept well.

Formación del "past perfect"

En inglés, el "past perfect" está compuesto por dos partes: el pasado del verbo to have (had) + el "past participle" del verbo principal.

Sujeto +had +past participle
Afirmativa
She had given
Negativa
She hadn't asked.
Interrogativa
Had they arrived?
Interrogativa negativa
Hadn't you finished?
To decide, "past perfect"
Afirmativa Negativa Interrogativa
I had decided I hadn't decided Had I decided?
You had decided You hadn't decided Had you decided?
She had decided She hadn't decided Had she decided?
We had decided We hadn't decided Had we decided?
They had decided They hadn't decided Had they decided?

"Past perfect" + just

'Just' se utiliza con el "past perfect" para referirse a un evento acontecido muy poco antes de otro evento situado en el pasado, e.g.

  • The train had just left when I arrived at the station.
  • She had just left the room when the police arrived.
  • I had just put the washing out when it started to rain.