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One simple rule to replace several grammar rules: present perfect, past perfect, 3rd conditional

One simple rule to replace several grammar rules: present perfect, past perfect, 3rd conditional

Posted by Grant Richardson, 9th February, 2016

By intermediate level, students normally learn several grammar rules that require past participle verbs (eaten, given, seen, known, taken, …):

  1. Grammar name: “3rd conditional” – e.g. If you had told me it was your birthday today, I would have given you a present.
  2. Grammar name: “present perfect” – e.g. I have seen that movie already.
  3. Grammar name: “past perfect” – e.g. Before I moved to Japan, I had studied Japanese for 2 years.

A simple reminder for all these rules is:

Any time you use ‘have’ or ‘had’ followed by another verb, use the past participle form of the verb (not past simple form).

E.g. Use “have taken” (or “had taken“), and never “have took” (or “had took“).

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