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  • Hi, I'm Oli.

  • Welcome to Oxford Online English!

  • In this lesson, you can learn about the past perfect verb form.

  • What does the past perfect mean?

  • When do you need to use the past perfect?

  • How do you use the past perfect verb tense correctly in a conversation?

  • You'll see the answers to these questions in this lesson.

  • If you're watching on YouTube, remember to check out our website, too: Oxford Online

  • English dot com.

  • We have video lessons, quizzes to help you practise the topics in our videos, and free

  • listening lessons.

  • You can also take classes with one of our teachers, in case you need extra help with

  • your English.

  • One more thing: turn on subtitles now if you need them.

  • Click 'CC' in the bottom right of the video player if you need English subtitles.

  • Also, you can adjust the speed up or down if you need to.

  • Click on the settings button to change the playback speed.

  • Ready?

  • Let's see how to use the past perfect verb form.

  • How was the wedding?

  • A disaster!

  • I've never seen anything go so wrong.

  • Why?

  • What happened?

  • First, they had booked a hall for the ceremony, but it was much too small.

  • Only 30 people could go in, and everyone else had to wait outside.

  • Really?

  • That's weird.

  • I know!

  • Surely they knew how many people they had invited?

  • I guess not.

  • Sounds bad.

  • Yes, but that's not all.

  • They'd booked a restaurant for the reception, but they hadn't told them how many people

  • were coming.

  • So, there wasn't enough food, either!

  • That's not good.

  • And then, as if that wasn't enough, there were so many long, boring speeches!

  • You could tell that no one had prepared their speeches, and they were just trying to improvise.

  • It just went on and on.

  • So, you're hungry and listening to boring speeches for hours?

  • Doesn't sound like much fun.

  • It wasn't.

  • In the dialogue, you heard five examples of the past perfect.

  • Can you remember them?

  • Here they are.

  • Pause the video to read if you need more time.

  • Think about two questions.

  • One: how do you form the past perfect?

  • Two: what's the difference between the past perfect and the past simple?

  • First, how do you form the past perfect?

  • You need 'had' or 'hadn't' plus a past participle.

  • For example, 'had gone', 'hadn't prepared', and so on.

  • 'Had' can be contracted to apostrophe-d.

  • Be careful, because 'would' can also be contracted to apostrophe-d.

  • In spoken language and in informal writing, you should generally use contractions.

  • This is important, because if you don't use the contractions, you won't hear them

  • when other people use them.

  • What about the second question?

  • What's the difference between the past perfect and the past simple?

  • To answer this, let's look at an example from the dialogue.

  • 'They had booked a hall for the ceremony, but it was much too small.'

  • Here, you have the past perfect and the past simple

  • in the same sentence.

  • Can you explain why?

  • In the dialogue, we were talking about two different times in the past.

  • First, Kasia was telling me about a wedding she went to.

  • But, she also talked about things which happenedor didn't happen – *before* the wedding.

  • She used the past simple to talk about the wedding itself.

  • I used the past simple to ask questions.

  • For example: I used the past perfect to talk about things

  • which happened *before* the wedding.

  • Look at the examples you saw before.

  • These are all things related to the preparations for the wedding, which took place earlier.

  • So, that's the basic idea.

  • You use the past perfect when you're talking about the past, and you need to talk about

  • something which happenedor didn't – *before* the time in the past which you're talking

  • about.

  • Let's look at this idea in more detail.

  • I'm going to tell you a story.

  • This happened to me when I was twelve years old.

  • I was on holiday with my family, and we were walking in a forest.

  • My Dad had told me that there were bears in the forest, but I didn't really take him

  • seriously.

  • I was walking in front; I turned a corner, andthere was a bear!

  • I had never seen such a big animal in the wild before.

  • I remembered something I had read about bears: you should stay calm and try to move away

  • slowly.

  • So, I walked backwards, very slowly.

  • Luckily, the bear didn't seem to care that I was there.

  • Later, I felt scared, but at the same time I didn't feel anything – I guess because everything

  • happened so quickly.

  • When you tell a story, you need to talk about several things that happened in a sequence.

  • For this, everything is simple.

  • Use the past simple if you're talking about things which happened one after another

  • For example: 'I bought a new car.

  • I took it for a drive.

  • I crashed it into a tree.'

  • However, you might want to talk about things which happened *before* the time of your story.

  • This is where you use the past perfect.

  • Look at the text of the story.

  • There are three examples of past perfect verbs.

  • Can you find them?

  • Pause the video if you want time to look.

  • Here are the three past perfect verbs.

  • They all refer to things which happenedor didn't happenbefore the time of the

  • story.

  • So, this is a common reason to use the past perfect: you're telling a story, and you

  • need to refer back to times or events which happened *before* the time of the story.

  • Next, let's look at when you might need the past perfect in an English conversation.

  • When did you start teaching?

  • Actually, it was kind of an accident.

  • It was 2005.

  • I had just graduated, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.

  • So, I took a six-month teaching job, mostly because I wanted to live abroad and travel

  • a bit.

  • So, you didn't want to teach?

  • Not really!

  • I had never considered it as a career.

  • Where did you move to?

  • Russia.

  • I had studied a little bit of Russian at university, but not enough to really be able to do anything.

  • So, I wanted to learn more, and also just experience living in Russia.

  • Had you ever lived abroad before?

  • Briefly.

  • I'd spent some time in Canada, but this was more challenging.

  • In the dialogue, there were five examples with the past perfect.

  • Did you hear them?

  • Remember: you can go back and listen to the dialogue again if you want.

  • Often, when you have a conversation or tell a story, you'll see something which fixes

  • the time of the story.

  • In the dialogue, the first question fixes the time: 'When did you start teaching?'

  • In Oli's answer, there's a more specific time reference: 'in 2005'.

  • That means that the conversation is about the time I started teaching: 2005.

  • But, we also mentioned things that happened before that time.

  • Let's practise this together.

  • Look at four sentences from the dialogue.

  • A question: do these things refer to 2005, or before 2005?

  • Sentences two and three refer to the time we were discussing: 2005, when he started

  • teaching.

  • Sentences one and four refer to an earlier time, before 2005.

  • You use the past perfect to talk about things which happened *before* the past time which

  • you're talking about.

  • When you're telling a story or having a conversation, you might refer to several different

  • points, which happened at different times.

  • So, it's common to jump between the past simple and past perfect, like you saw in the

  • dialogue.

  • Here's a good way to remember it: the past perfect is the 'past in the past'.

  • You use it when you're already talking about the past, and you want to refer to something

  • which is *further* in the past.

  • Many English learners understand these points, but they still have difficulties using the

  • past perfect correctly.

  • In the next section, let's see why that is.

  • Were you late for work *again*?

  • Yeah

  • What happened?

  • My alarm clock didn't go off this morning.

  • So what time did you get there?

  • Around eleven.

  • Eleven?!

  • Why did you wake up so late?

  • I couldn't fall asleep last night.

  • I probably got four hours of sleep.

  • Did you go to bed late?

  • Not really.

  • I think it was around twelve.

  • Did you hear the past perfect verb forms in the dialogue?

  • Trick question!

  • There were no past perfect forms.

  • But, why not?

  • In the dialogue, we refer to different time periods.

  • We start by talking about being late for work, but then we talk about earlier time periods:

  • the morning when Kasia woke up, and the previous evening.

  • So, again, why not use the past perfect?

  • There are places in the dialogue where it is *possible* to use the past perfect, but

  • it's better not to.

  • The most important point is that the order of events, and when things happened, is clear.

  • For example, look at four lines from the dialogue.

  • You *could* say 'Why had you woken up so late?', and 'I had probably only got four

  • hours of sleep', but it's not necessary, and it's better not toit sounds unnatural.

  • It's not necessary because the order of events is clear from the context.

  • Obviously, I woke up before I went to work.

  • Equally obviously, I was asleep before I woke up.

  • When the order that things happened is clear, you don't need to use the past perfect.

  • Another point: using the past perfect is generally less common in US English.

  • So, if you're not sure whether to use the past perfect or not, ask yourself whether

  • it's necessary to make it clear what happened when.

  • If not, use the past simple.

  • Sometimes, using the past perfect *is* necessary.

  • Let's see an example.

  • Look at two sentences: 'When I moved to the USA, I found a job.'

  • 'When I moved to the USA, I had found a job.'

  • These two sentences have different meanings.

  • What's the difference?

  • The first sentence means you moved to the USA first, and *then* you found a job, after

  • you moved.

  • The second sentence means you found a job *before* you moved.

  • In this case, it's important to use the past perfect, because using the past simple

  • changes the meaning.

  • That's all.

  • Thanks for watching!

  • See you next time!

Hi, I'm Oli.

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英語での過去完了時制の使い方 - 英文法レッスン (How to Use the Past Perfect Tense in English - English Grammar Lesson)

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    Courage に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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