Friday, September 30, 2011

Contrasting The Simple Past With The Past Perfect Tense


Previously, we have contrasted the simple past with the past continuous and the simple past with the present perfect tense. Now, we will contrast the simple past with the past perfect.

Common mistakes made by English learners in using past tenses:

  1. She wasn't new in this town. She has lived here before.
  2. I told him that I have submitted the proposal the day before.
  3. She realized that she left her umbrella on the bus.
  4. The kids were excited to see the Komodo. They never saw the animal before.
  5. Last night, she felt very tired because she has worked all day.
The italicized verbs in the above sentences show the most common mistakes made by English learners when they are using the past tenses. Can you change them into the correct form? Yes, they should have been in the past perfect instead of the simple past or the present perfect tense.


The Simple Past TenseThe Past Perfect Tense
To tell past events in the order in which they occured.
Untuk menceritakan kejadian lampau sesuai urutan kejadian.
  • The bridge was destroyed during the war. They repaired it two years ago.
  • They got married in 2007. Their first son was born two years later.
To look back on earlier past events from a certain point in the past.
Untuk bercerita "secara mundur" tentang kejadian lampau yang lebih dahulu terjadi.
  • They repaired the bridge two years ago. It had been destroyed during the war.
  • Their first son was born in 2009. They had been married for two years then.
In clauses with "when", "as soon as": to indicate that one past event follows another very closely, possibly as a quick reaction.
Dalam kalimat berklausa ("when", "as soon as"): untuk menunjukkan bahwa suatu kejadian lampau terjadi segera setelah kejadian lampau lainnya (hampir bersamaan), mungkin sebagai reaksi yang cepat.
  • When the teacher came in, the classroom became quiet.
  • I screamed out in pain when he stepped on my swollen foot.
In clauses with "when", "as soon as": to emphasize that a past event was completed before another started.
Dalam kalimat berklausa ("when", "as soon as"): untuk menekankan bahwa suatu kejadian lampau telah selesai terjadi sebelum kejadian lampau lainnya dimulai.
  • When the teacher had left, the classroom became noisy.
  • As soon as she had packed her clothes, she left.
In "Till/Until + Past Perfect + Simple Past" combination, the action in the simple past normally happens earlier.
Dalam kalimat kombinasi "Till/Until + Past Perfect + Simple Past", kejadian yang menggunakan bentuk simple past biasanya terjadi lebih dahulu.
  • She waited till I had finished teaching.
  • I didn't understand until you had given me a clear explanation.
In "Till/Until + Past Perfect + Simple Past" combination, the past perfect emphasizes on the completion of an action / event.
Dalam kalimat kombinasi "Till/Until + Past Perfect + Simple Past", bentuk past perfect menekankan selesainya suatu aktifitas / kejadian.
  • She waited till I had finished teaching.
  • I didn't understand until you had given me a clear explanation.
In "Before + Past Perfect + Simple Past" combination, the action in the simple past always happens earlier.
Dalam kalimat kombinasi "Before + Past Perfect + Simple Past", kejadian yang menggunakan bentuk simple past selalu terjadi lebih dahulu.
  • The rain fell before we had arrived home.
  • Before we had finished the exercise the bell rang.
With "Before", both events may use the past perfect.
Dengan "Before", kedua kejadian / kegiatan bisa menggunakan bentuk past perfect.
  • Before I had finished packing the bus had arrived.
  • Before she had reached home it had started raining .
Used in time clauses "when", "as soon as" with verbs like "know, understand, realize, etc"
Digunakan dalam klausa keterangan waktu "when", "as soon as" bersama kata kerja seperti "know", "understand", "realize", dll
  • She fainted when she knew the truth.
  • When I realized that I had made a mistake, I apologized.
Used in time clauses "when", "as soon as" with verbs like "know", "understand", "realize", "etc" only when the period of time is mentioned.
Digunakan dalam klausa keterangan waktu "when", "as soon as" bersama kata kerja seperti "know", "understand", "realize", dll, hanya jika disebutkan jangka waktunya.
  • When he had known her for about two years he proposed a marriage to her.
  • When I had learned how to use English tenses I was able to write better.
Used in direct speeches to talk about past actions.
Digunakan dalam kalimat langsung untuk membicarakan kegiatan lampau.
  • She said, "I saw him in his office this morning."
  • She told me, "I put my dictionary on your table."
In indirect speeches, the past perfect tense often replaces the simple past and the present perfect tense.
Dalam kalimat tidak langsung, past perfect seringkali merupakan pengganti simple past dan present perfect tense.
  • She said that she had seen him in his office that morning.
  • She told me that she had put her dictionary on my table.
Used in conditional sentences type 2.
Digunakan dalam kalimat conditional type 2.
  • If we had more rain this year, we would have a better harvest.
  • If you lived in Malang you would be used to cold air.
Used in conditional sentences type 3.
Digunakan dalam kalimat conditional type 3.
  • If we had had more rain last year, we would have had a better harvest.
  • If you had lived in Malang you would have been used to cold air.
Used in unreal past with "wish"; to express regret about a present situation.
  • I wish I knew her mobile number. We can't inform her now.
  • I hate this traffic jam. I wish we lived in a small town.
Used in unreal past with "wish"; to express regret about a past situation.
  • I wish I had known her mobile number. I couldn't pass the information to her.
  • I was late for work due to the traffic jam. I wish I had taken the subway.
Used in the past subjunctive after "as if" or "as though", to indicate unreality or doubt or improbability in the present.
Digunakan dalam past subjunctive setelah "as if" atau "as though" untuk menggambarkan kondisi yang berlawanan dengan realita.
  • She talks about computer as if she knew a lot about it.
  • Don't behave as if you didn't know about the rule.
Used in the past subjunctive after "as if" or "as though", to refer to a real or imaginary action in the past.
Digunakan dalam past subjunctive setelah "as if" atau "as though" untuk membicarakan kondisi nyata atau tidak nyata di waktu lampau.
  • She talks / talked about computer as though she had known a lot about it.
  • They behaved as though they hadn't been informed about the rule.


Exercise

Put the verbs in the simple past or the past perfect.
  1. When the old man (return) home from his vacation he (find) that burglars (break) in during his absence. The front door (be) open and everything in the house (be) upside down.
  2. He (be) sure that he (see) the girl before. He (keep) looking at her, wondering where they (meet).
  3. He (return) the book, (thank) me for lending it to him and (say) that he (enjoy) it very much.
  4. We (be) lucky. It (stop) raining when the class (be) over.
  5. When we (get) married in 2006 we (know) each other for more than five years.
Click here to download the answer key to the above exercise.

Reference:

  1. Azar B.S. Understanding and Using English Grammar (2nd Ed). NJ: Prentice-Hall. Inc, 1989.
  2. Thomson & Martinet. A Practical English Grammar (4th Ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.
  3. Swan, M. Practical English Usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980.

Related Articles:

0 comments:

Post a Comment