Past Perfect signal words

Grammar explanations Past Perfect diagram
Past Perfect form
Past Perfect use
Past Perfect signal words
Exercises Past Perfect

Past Perfect Tense can be used with some signal words. You should remember that these words are not characteristic solely for this tense. You come across them in other tenses as well. Below you can find some characteristic words for the tense in questions.

When

Sentences in Past Perfect are used after when, if we want to stress that the first activity finished before the second on started:

When she had shut the door I opened the window.

It means that I waited to open the window until she closed the door.

When she had seen all the paintings she said she was ready to leave.

It means that after seeing all the paintings she said that she was ready to leave.

If we compare the sentence above with the following sentence

When she saw all the paintings she said she was ready to leave.

It can mean that immediately after she saw all the painting she said that she could go.

As soon as, the moment, immediately

Past Perfect Tense can be used with the following expressions: as soon as, the moment, immediately expressing a similar function as described earlier when.

Before

Past Perfect Tense can be used with till, until, before when we want to stress the completion or expected completing of specific activity.

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