Dictionary.com

past perfect

Save This Word!

noun Grammar.

COMPARE MEANINGS

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of past perfect

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use past perfect in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for past perfect

past perfect
/ grammar /

adjective
denoting a tense of verbs used in relating past events where the action had already occurred at the time of the action of a main verb that is itself in a past tense. In English this is a compound tense formed with had plus the past participle
noun
  1. the past perfect tense
  2. a verb in this tense
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
FEEDBACK