Paco had had a dream about this journey before: the bay in New York had been frozen over for a couple of weeks

In this topic you are going to have another look at the Past Perfect Tense in affirmative, negative and interrogative forms. You will also learn some differences in spelling and pronunciation between British English and American English. It'll be fun. Let's go!
Icono IDevice Reading activity
Paco was worried because, before he came to New York, he had seen in The New York Times online that New York Bay had been frozen for two weeks. He was really concerned about the bad weather conditions here. But, luckily the temperature had gradually increased and it wasn't so cold.
He had also read a lot about this amazing place, for instance, that it is a leading global city and that it has a powerful influence over worldwide commerce, finance, culture, fashion and entertainment.
Midtown Manhattan is the largest business district in the US.
By Nikopoley. Public domain.
Paco had also learned that the average temperature in January, New York City's coldest month, is 32 °F (0 °C). However temperatures in winter could be lower for a few days and reach −12 °C .
Located on a large natural harbor on the Atlantic coast of the Northeastern United States, New York consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.
The most recent estimate stated that the population had exceeded 8.5 million people, which makes "the Big Apple" the most densely populated major city in the United States.

Try to identify in the text six forms of the Past Perfect in affirmative.

Icono IDevice Important
The past perfect tense is often used in English when we are relating two events which happened in the past. It helps to show which event happened first.
Reading is one of the four basic skills in English.
By the bbp. Creative Commons.
We went to buy the book that the teacher had mentioned in the History lesson.


1. Completed action before something in the past.

The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past.

Her father had been married twice before he married her mother.
Sonia knew the city well because she had visited London several times.


2. Duration before something in the past (non continuous verbs).

With Non-Continuous Verbs and some non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, we use the Past Perfect to show that something started in the past and continued up until another action in the past.


We didn't feel well when we sold the house because we had lived there for over 20 years.
He finally saw the girl he had imagined so many times before.


3. Conditional sentences type III.

If you had studied harder, you would have passed the examination.


4. Reported speech.

We often use the past perfect tense in reported speech after verbs like said, told, asked, thought, wondered:

He told us that he had missed the bus.
The teacher asked the students why they hadn't finished the task.


Icono IDevice Curiosity

Watch this video to get an idea of what New York city is like.




Icono IDevice Further knowledge

If you are interested in lots of curiosities in Spanish about the city of New York, then click here and enjoy it.

Do you need a dictionary? Try this one.

And what about a grammar online? It may help you a lot. Have a look here.

If you have problems as how to pronounce a word, use our interactive teacher Mike who will be most delighted to help you.


Click here to use Mike