Past Perfect

The past perfect is used to state which action happened first. When we talk about something in the past and we want to mention something which happened before that past action we use the past perfect.

I have named it the past before the pastand in Spanish corresponds with ↪Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto I had finished Yo había terminado

She told me she had never eaten meatMe dijo que nunca había comido carne

The plants were dead because it had not rainedLas plantas estaban muertas porque no había llovido

If you had heard the shot you would have run off to call the police Si hubieras oído el disparo habrías ido corriendo a llamar a la policía

I had eaten ➫ I’d eatenI had not eaten ➫ I hadn’t eaten
You had stayed ➫ You’d stayedYou had not stayed ➫ You hadn’t stayed
She had gone ➫ She’d goneShe had not gone ➫ She hadn’t gone
They had grown ➫ They’d grownThey had not grown ➫ They hadn’t grown

La contracción de had es‘d Pero… ¿Cómo saber si ➣ ‘d es contracción de had o de would ? Muy fácil. Si el verbo está en infinitivo es would y si está en participio es had .

I’d like me gustaría I’d likedme había gustado

We’d goiríamosWe’d gonehabíamos/hubimos/hubiéramos/hubiésemos ido

Aesop, (Esopo in Spanish), was a Greek fabulist and storyteller who lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 B.C.  His tales are known as Aesop’s fables. They are characterized by animals, people or objects that speak, solve problems and lead to a moral lesson with a concise maxim or saying.

reference: Headway Pre-Intermediate Oxford

Audio The Bear and the Travellers

Choose one of the three sayings to summarize the moral of the fable

 “Friendship is like a glass ornament, once it is broken it can rarely be put back together exactly the same way.”

“A true friend is someone who is there for you when he would prefer to be anywhere else.”

“Friends are easy to make and difficult to keep.“

The Bear and the Travellers is a story of two friends walking through rough country who are suddenly confronted by a bear. One of the travellers saves himself by climbing up a tree while the other throws himself on the ground and pretends to be dead. The bear comes near him, sniffs him and leaves. Then the friend in the tree came down and laughing asked what the bear had said to him. “It was some good advice,” said his friend; “he told me never to trust someone who deserts you in need.”


1 -b 2 -e 3 -a 4 -f 5 -c 6 -d

Let’s see how it works in Spanish:

1 Cuando llegué,

… ella hizo la cena.

… estaba haciendo la cena.

… había hecho la cena.

2 Ella hablaba buen francés porque

… vivía en Francia.

… había vivido en Francia.

3 Yo escuchaba música

… mientras hacía los deberes.

… cuando hube hecho los deberes.

4 Cuando llegué a casa,

… los niños se acostaron.

… los niños se habían acostado.

5 Ella me dio un libro,

… para que lo leyera.

… pero ya lo había leído.

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The English Tenses

The English Tenses
The English Tenses. Perfect and Continuous.

Table of Tenses All English Tenses

Present SimplePresent ContinuousPast SimplePast Continuous
She eatsYou are eatingShe ateYou were eating
She does not eatYou are not eatingShe did not eatYou were not eating
Does she eat?Are you eating?Did she eat?Were you eating?

Future SimpleConditional SimplePresent PerfectPast Perfect
I will eatI would eatHe has eatenHe had eaten
I will not eatI would not eatHe has not eatenHe had not eaten
Will I eat?Would I eat?Has he eaten?Had he eaten?

Michelin star awarded to a vegan restaurant in France for the first timeThe Week

Present Perfect Continuous I have been eating
Past Perfect Continuous I had been eating
Future Continuous I will be eating
Future Perfect I will have eaten
Future Perfect Continuous I will have been eating
Conditional Continuous I would be eating
Conditional Perfect I would have eaten
Conditional Perfect Continuous I would have been eating

He has been eating
He has not been eating
Has he been eating?
putting emphasis on the duration (not the result) action that recently stopped or is still going on/ finished action that influences the present
He had been eating
He had not been eating
Had he been eating?
action taking place before a certain time in the past interchangeable with past perfect
(emphasis on the duration)
He is going to eat
He is not going to eat
Is he going to eat?
planned decision or conclusion with regard
to the future
He will be eating
He will not be eating
Will he be eating?

action that is going on at a certain time in the future action that is sure to happen in the near future
He will have eaten
He will not have eaten
Will he have eaten?

action that will be finished at a certain time in the future
He will have been
He will not have been
Will he have been

action taking place before a certain time in the future putting emphasis on the course of an action
He would have
He would not have
Would he have

action that might have taken place in the past
third conditional:
If I had seen that, I would have helped


He would have been
He would not have
been eating
Would he have
been eating?
third conditional
unfulfilled result of the

action in the if-clause

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