Past vs Past Perfect
Past and Past perfect are two types of tenses used in English grammar with difference between them. While past tense is used to describe an event that was completed, past perfect tense is used to describe an event that was completed long ago. This is the main difference between the usages of past tense and past perfect tense.
We use past perfect tense when we want to talk about something that happened before something else happened. Look at the two sentences:
1. He came home.
2. I had finished my dinner before he came home.
In the sentences mentioned above, you can see that past tense and past perfect tense are used respectively. In other words, past tense is used in the first sentence and past perfect tense is used in the second sentence.
Thus, you can understand that past tense is used when we talk about the past or the completion of an action at the time of speaking. In the first sentence the person talked about the past in saying ‘he came home’. On the other hand in the second sentence the person talked about something that happened before something else happened. In the sentence you can see that the person had finished his dinner before someone else came home.
The past perfect tense is formed by had + past participle. This is the important rule to be memorized in the case of past perfect tense. In the example given above, ‘finish’ is the verb and ‘finished’ is its past participle form. The past perfect form is formed by adding had and ‘finished’. Thus, had + finished should be used in the formation of the past perfect tense. In the same way ‘had + looked’, ‘had + sung’, ‘had + written’ are the different past perfect forms of the different verbs.