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Grammar : Past perfect simple and continuous

Past perfect : زمن الماضي التام

Past perfect Form :

Subject + had + past participle

Subject Had + past participle of the main verb
He had played
They had eaten

Some examples :

  • I had gone before she met you.
  • Had you studied French before you came to Casablanca?
  • You had not studied French before you came to Casablanca.

When do we use Past Perfect? 

The past perfect expresses the idea that an action occurred before another action in the past.  It can also show that an action occurred before a specific time.

Past perfect نستعمل

عندما نتكلم عن حدثيين وقعا في الماضي، واحد منهما حدث قبل الثاني

.كما نستعمله عندما نريد التركيز على الحدث الأول عند التكلم او الكتابة

إذا عندنا حدثين في الماضي لكن واحد يسبق الثاني وينتهي.

ملاحظة مهمة:

الحدث الأول هو الذي نصيغه في Past Perfect

More examples :

  • I had never seen such a beautiful city before I went to Chefchaouen.
  • I had never eaten such delicious bolognese spaghettis until last night
  • Had she learned her lesson before she passed her exam?
  • I had been to France before last year

Past perfect continuous:  زمن الماضي التام المستمر

Past perfect continuous Form :

Subject + had been + Verb(ing)

Subject Had been + ing form
He had been playing
They had been eating

Examples :

  • I had been waiting there for more than 1 hour when he finally called me.
  • Had you been waiting there for more than 1 hour when he finally called you?

When do we use past perfect continuous?

We use the Past Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past.

We often use the past perfect continuous when we want to underline the duration of an activity in the past.

يوضح المدة الزمنية لنشاط معين أو فعل معين Past perfect continuous
(كان مستمرا في الماضي لكن قبل نشاط آخر (وهذا النشاط الآخر أيضا في الماضي
بمعنى آخر دائما أننا في أغلب الأحوال نواجه في هذا الزمن وجود فعلين
في الماضي أحدهما ماضي بسيط والآخر ماضي تام مستمر ولابد أن
نلاحظ أن الفعل أو الحدث في الزمن التام المستمر يسبق الماضي البسيط

He finally came at six o’clock.
I had been waiting for him since four-thirty.
:في هذه الجملة عندنا فعلين أحدهما في الماضي البسيط وهو
he came
:والآخر في الماضي التام المستمر وهو
had been waiting
(مع فهم الجملة نلاحظ أن هناك حدثين الحدث الأول هو الإنتظار (وهنا نضعه في الماضي التام المستمر
(أما الحدث الثاني وهو قدوم الشخص (نضعه في الماضي البسيط
الحدث الأول (الأقدم) نصيغه في الماضي التام المستمر
.أما الحدث الثاني (الأحدث) نصيغه في الماضي البسيط

More examples :

  • They had been playing for more than 3 hours before the teacher arrived
  • Morroccan national team had been struggling more than 20 years before they finally made it to the Russian world cup.
  • Daoud had been chatting on snapchat for more then 3 hours before Youssef came.


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