Be used to
Few and Little
Get Used To
Have and Have Got
Lend and Borrow
Past Perfect Continuous
Past Perfect Simple
Present Perfect Continuous
Present Perfect Simple
Say and Tell
Small and Little
So and Such
Too and Enough
Will and Going to
Affirmative had + verb 3 (past participle)
Negative hadn't + verb 3 (past participle)
(See the phonemic chart for IPA symbols used below)If had is not completely contracted, it is usually reduced to its weak form in affirmative sentences and questions, sometimes with elision and intrusion.
I usually draw a timeline (a long one) on the board or on a big piece of paper. Then I invite students to write about the events that day, i.e.:
7am: I had breakfast
8am: I went to school
12pm: I went back home
13pm: I finished my homework
15pm: I arrived for my English class
8am: I had breakfast
9am: I went to work
15pm: I left work
15:15pm: I arrived (late) for my class
Then I model the first sentence:
When student B had breakfast, student A had already had breakfast (or had already gone to school).
Then students have to come up with other sentences using the information on the board. They can do it in pairs, comparing their days or even their lives! i.e. When I got married, you had already had 2 children....
Well for me the best way to teach the past perfect is to focus on two past actions and formulate them in a
sentence using the suitable adverbial of time. Then, you can ask your students how many actions the sentence has? Ask them which action happened first and
which happened second. Then ask them to figure out a rule.
I divide the class into two groups and give each group some sentences. The sentences for group 1 are the past simple and for group 2 they are past perfect.
Group 1 have sentences like...
I was nervous before the flight.
She was hungry.
He was tired all day.
Group 2 have sentences like...
I hadn't flown before.
She hadn't eaten for hours
He hadn't slept well last night.
I ask one student from group 1 to read their sentence and a student from group 2 to finish it with a "because" sentence.
If you have a good way of introducing or practising this grammar point, tell us about it here...
Try our grammar discussion forums for further help.
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