Past Perfect Conjugation
The past perfect verb tense is used to describe an event which occurred before another event when both events occurred in the past. In English we use "had + infinitive" to express this notion. For example, the sentence "I had eaten before I arrived" is written in the past perfect tense.
Once you have learned the German verb conjugation patterns for the present perfect tense, the past perfect is very easy. The past perfect uses the same participles as the present perfect. Instead of the present tense conjugation for the helping verbs haben and sein, the past simple forms of haben and sein are used. For example, the phrase "I had learned" is written as "ich hatte gelernt." The following exercises will help you practice using the past perfect verb tense.