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Past Perfect Tense

Definizione di Past Perfect e come si forma

Il Past Perfect è un tempo verbale della lingua inglese che si usa per parlare di azioni avvenute prima di un preciso momento nel passato o prima di altre azioni o eventi già accaduti. 

Per formare una frase con il Past Perfect bisogna seguire il seguente schema: soggetto + had (Past Simple del verbo to have) + participio passato del verbo principale.

Per esempio:

  • I had finished all the work by 5 o’clock. 

Nella seguente tabella è possibile vedere un chiaro esempio di come coniugare un verbo regolare al Past Perfect in inglese.

Tabella 1: forma affermativa, negativa e interrogativa del Past Perfect Tense del verbo regolare to jump.
Forma affermativaForma negativaForma interrogativa
Forma completaForma contrattaForma completaForma contratta
I had jumpedI'd jumpedI had not jumpedI hadn't jumpedHad I jumped?
You had jumpedYou'd jumpedYou had not jumpedYou hadn't jumpedHad you jumped?
He had jumpedHe'd jumpedHe had not jumpedHe hadn't jumpedHad he jumped?
She had jumpedShe'd jumpedShe had not jumpedShe hadn't jumpedHad She jumped?
It had jumpedIt'd jumpedIt had not jumpedIt hadn't jumpedHad it jumped?
We had jumpedWe'd jumpedWe had not jumpedWe hadn't jumpedHad we jumped?
You had jumpedYou'd jumpedYou had not jumpedYou hadn't jumpedHad you jumped?
They had jumpedThey'd jumpedThey had not jumpedThey hadn't jumpedHad they jumped?


Per coniugare un verbo irregolare al Past Perfect bisogna seguire sempre lo schema indicato in precedenza, ricordandosi però di prestare particolare attenzione alla formazione del participio passato in inglese, dato che ogni verbo irregolare ne possiede uno specifico.

Nella seguente tabella è riportato un chiaro comune su come coniugare un verbo irregolare al Past Perfect in inglese.

Tabella 2: forma affermativa, negativa e interrogativa del Past Perfect Tense del verbo irregolare to see.
Forma affermativaForma negativaForma interrogativa
Forma completaForma contrattaForma completaForma contratta
I had seenI'd seenI had not seenI hadn't seenHad I seen?
You had seenYou'd seenYou had not seenYou hadn't seenHad you seen?
He had seenHe'd seenHe had not seenHe hadn't seenHad he seen?
She had seenShe'd seenShe had not seenShe hadn't seenHad She seen?
It had seenIt'd seenIt had not seenIt hadn't seenHad it seen?
We had seenWe'd seenWe had not seenWe hadn't seenHad we seen?
You had seenYou'd seenYou had not seenYou hadn't seenHad you seen?
They had seenThey'd seenThey had not seenThey hadn't seenHad they seen?

Exercise n 71. Ripassa le regole sulla formazione del participio passato in inglese e completa la tabella come nell'esempio, riportando il participio passato corretto per ogni verbo

play – playedsee – seen
grab – ...pay – ...
tie – ...grow – ...
think – ...bring – ...
tell – ...
lend – ...
dry – ...let – ...

Exercise n 72. Costruisci delle frasi negative e interrogative per ciascuna delle seguenti frasi affermative.

Per esempio: 

  • We had finished the report by 6 o’clock. – We hadn’t finished the report by 5 o’clock. Had you finished the report by 5 o’clock?
  1. We had studied the topic by Tuesday. 
  2. Carl had come home by 7 o’clock. 
  3. The students had had a lot of practice by the time of the exam. 
  4. The assistant had sent the documents before the boss required them. 
  5. The street was totally white as it had snowed before. 
  6. The mechanic had fixed your computer by 9 pm. 
  7. The sun had set by 7 am. 
  8. Your girlfriend had phoned you before you came home. 
  9. Mary had finished reading the book by December. 
  10. The match had finished by 10 pm.

Exercise n 73. Trasforma le seguenti affermazioni in frasi interrogative, come mostrato nell'esempio.

Per esempio: 

  • The doctor left the hospital by 5 pm (the nurse). – Had the doctor or the nurse left the hospital by 5 pm?
  1. Lucy hasn't cooked dinner by 5 (lunch).
  2. The scouts had pitched a tent by the evening (by the afternoon).
  3. Mark has copied the answers from the book by the time the teacher came in (cheat crib).
  4. Marilyn had bought the book before it was translated (the film).
  5. It had snowed yesterday ( two days ago).
  6. The children had laid the table before the parents came (the babysitter).
  7. The plane had landed by 7 p.m. (8 p.m.).
  8. You hadn't finished all the tasks by the end of the test (your friend)
  9. The rain had started by 5 a.m. (the storm).
  10. We had arrived at the hotel by morning (apartment).

Exercise n 74. Trasforma le seguenti frasi affermative in domande speciali, utilizzando le parole indicate tra parentesi.

Per esempio:  

  • The children had fallen asleep by 9 p.m. (Who). – Who had fallen asleep by 9 p.m.?
  1. They had already finished school by 2020 (Who).
  2. Alison had coloured all the eggs my Easter (What).
  3. Keily had chosen her wedding dress by September (When).
  4. You had never tried skiing before yesterday (What).
  5. The cinema had run out of popcorn when we came (What).
  6. When I came up to the house,  I saw that somebody had forced the door (What). 
  7. Finn had bought a package tour  before the boss confirmed his holidays (Who).
  8. Matthew had stopped at the bar before it started raining (Where).
  9. She had cleaned the mess up before calling the police (Who).
  10. John and Mandy had got engaged by January (Who).

Quando si usa il Past Perfect Tense

  1. Per parlare di qualcosa che è successo prima di un’altra azione. Per esempio:
    • She had called me before I came to the office.
    • The little bird had learnt to fly before the nest was destroyed.
    • I had departed before he started looking for me.
  2. Per parlare di un'azione che è finita prima di un certo momento nel passato. Per esempio:
    • Paul had got very tired by the end of the day.
  3. Si usa come il Present Perfect per parlare del risultato di un’azione avvenuta nel passato. Per esempio:
    • My sister was not at home. She had already left.

Il Past Perfect si usa spesso con le seguenti parole o formule: before, after, just, yet, already, for, since, ever, never, till / until, when, by, by the time, etc.

Exercise n 76.  Coniuga i verbi tra parentesi scegliendo la forma verbale più corretta tra il Past Perfect e il Past Simple. Usa il Past Perfect per indicare l’azione che è successa prima di un’altra nel passato.

Per esempio: 

  • The firemen had put the fire out before it spread to the buildings nearby.
  1. I … (have) an ice-cream before you ... (buy) pizza. 
  2. You … (give) me a lot of support before I … (become) successful. 
  3. The scouts … (come) to the destination before it … (start) to rain. 
  4. I … (see) a cheaper bag after I … (buy) an expensive one. 
  5. Phoebe … (not be) to this restaurant before I … (invite) her to go there. 
  6. I … (get) caught in the rain because I … (forget) an umbrella. 
  7. Lee … (buy) a new phone before the shop … (give) him a discount. 
  8. Cathy … (be) very hungry as she … (not have) breakfast. 
  9. After Luke … (get) his driving license, his parents … (buy) him a car.
  10. Cinderella  … (run) away before the clock … (strike) twelve.

Exercise n 77. Traduci queste frasi dall'italiano all'inglese usando il Past Perfect o Past Simple.

  1. I bambini si erano già addormentati quando hanno cominciato a sparare i fuochi d’artificio. 
  2. Tante persone sono arrivate in ufficio in ritardo ieri, perché il treno era stato cancellato. 
  3. Ho perso 5 chili a gennaio perché avevo fatto tanto sport il mese prima. 
  4. Ti ho visto da qualche parte prima che ci incontrassimo. 
  5. Avevamo finito tutti i preparativi già mercoledì scorso. 
  6. Quando sono tornato a casa, l'ingorgo si era già sciolto.
  7. Avevo preso i biglietti per il concerto ieri sera, oggi li hanno già terminati. 
  8. Matt aveva già finito tutti i lavori mentre arrivava qualcuno in aiuto. 
  9. Tiffany è andata dal dottore dopo essere svenuta per strada. 
  10. Il film è finito dopo che io mi ero addormentato. 


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Scritto da

Yulia

Yulia Gurikova

Professional Language Coach

Laureata con lode presso l’Università Federale del Sud di Russia con qualifica professionale di linguista e insegnante, ha proseguito lo studio post-universario ottenendo il dottorato di ricerca (PhD) con stage in USA e in Inghilterra. Ha esperienza di oltre 10 mila ore di insegnamento e language coaching per aiutare i privati e le aziende a raggiungere i loro obiettivi linguistici e professionali.

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