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        Past-Perfect Tense

Past-perfect tense verbs express actions that began and ended in the past like simple past tense verbs do.  However,

the past perfect tense indicates that an

action ended before another past action.


The past perfect tense is created with the

auxiliary verb had plus a past participle


           Theo sold all the jewelry that he had made.

              (The past participle indicates that Theo made the jewelery before he sold it.)

           Ivan and Crystal had known about the problem for a long time before they

                          called an electrician.

                   (The past participle indicates that they knew about the problem before they called a plumber.)

           I had seen the movie six times when I lost the dvd.

                   (The past participle indicates that I saw the movie before I lost the dvd.)

           Countless people had died of infection before doctors began using soap.

                  (The past participle indicates that people died before doctors used soap.)

The above examples are in active voice.  The examples below are in passive voice.  Passive voice in the past perfect tense is created with the auxiliary verb had plus the past participle of be (been) plus another past participle.  To avoid wordiness, writers should limit the use of passive voice.

              Theo sold the jewelry that had been made by him.
           The problem had been known for a long time before Ivan and Crystal called a
                           plumber.
            The movie had been seen by me six times when I lost the dvd.
            Countless people had been killedby infection before doctors began using soap.