The past perfect tense tells us that an action was finished at some point in the past before something else happened.
subject + had + past participle = past perfect tense
- She had met him before the event.
- I had sent the email before he talked to me.
There are many situations where the past perfect tense can be used, such as the following:
- To show that an action happened before something else in the past:
Example: Anthony had met Ryan before you introduced him to us at the party.
- To show that an action happened before a specific time in the past:
Example: They had gotten engaged before last year.
Remember that past perfect tense makes it clear that one thing happened before another in the past and that the order of events doesn’t matter because the tense already makes it clear which event happened first.