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What is past perfect tense?

 

Definition
 

Past perfect tense is an absolute-relative tense that refers to a time in the past relative to a reference point, which itself is in the past relative to the moment of utterance.

Example (English)
 
  • The “had + verb” construction expresses past perfect tense, as in the following sentence:

  • By that time, nearly everyone had left.
  • The construction had left is in the past relative to that time, which itself is in the past relative to the moment of utterance.

  • Generic
      Past perfect tense is a kind of
     
    Sources
     

    Pei and Gaynor 1954 162, 170

     

    Mish 1991 861

     

    Comrie 1985b 65–66


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