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Past Perfect Tense - Questions

We learned in the previous two lessons that the past perfect tense is used in the following ways.
  1. To emphasize what action or event happened first.
  2. To show that something happened before a specific time.
  3. For reported speech
  4. With the word "wish" to show that we are unhappy or dissatisfied.
In this lesson, we will see how to make yes/no questions with the past perfect tense.

It is the same as the present perfect tense except that the present tense verbs "have/has" change to their past tense form "had".

Here is the question pattern.

Had + subject + past participle...?
  • Had she left when you got there?
  • Had it stopped raining when you went out?
  • Had he finished before 5 o'clock?
The sentences with "wish" will look like this.

Do/Does + subject + wish + (that) + subject + had + past participle...?
  • Do you wish you had studied harder when you were younger?
  • Does he wish that he had moved to another city last year?
Example Questions and Answers

A) Had you finished all your homework before you started watching TV?
B) Yes, mom. I finished all my homework before I started watching TV.

A) Had she worked here before 2013?
B) I don't think so. I think she joined the company in 2015.

A) Had it stopped snowing when you came in?
B) Nope. It was still snowing when I came in.

A) Had he established his own law firm before he got married?
B) Yes, he got married the year after he established his law firm.

A) Had they met each other before the party?
B) I don't know, but it seems like they had met each other before.

We can also ask questions with question words.

Question word + had + subject + participle...?
  • Why had you eaten all of the food before I came?
  • What had he done for a living before he joined this company?
Or we can ask the question part in past tense and put the past perfect in the second part.
  • What did you do before we had met?
  • Why did you leave before we had finished?
Example Questions and Answers

A) Why had you studied if you didn't have a test?
B) I had just wanted to learn something new.

A) What had happened before I came?
B) Bill and Angie started arguing because of money.

A) Why had you left before I got there?
B) You were 4 hours late!

A) What do you wish you had done when you were young?
B) I wish I had had more fun.

Note: "had had" is not wrong. This is possible with the past perfect

Finish the questions. This simple practice will help you remember this English grammar point well and help you improve your English speaking skills.

Tip: Say the questions aloud. This will help you practice speaking English and improve your pronunciation and fluency.

Had you _______________ before _______________?
Had he _______________ since _______________?
Had she _______________ before 2010?
What do you wish you had _______________?
What does she wish she had _______________ when she was in university?

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