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Practice Speaking English: the Past Perfect Tense

Answer the questions below. The example sentences will help you get ideas. Questions that can be asked and answered in the past perfect are not common, so use this page to practice speaking with both the perfect and conditional tenses. In the examples you will see that the answer often needs to be in the present perfect conditional (also called modal perfect).


Example 1

Example 2

1. If you had supported a charity when you were 16 years old, what would it have been?
I would have supported diabetes because my cousin had that disease.
I would have supported dyslexia because my friend had trouble reading.
2. If you had known a famous person when you were a child, who would you have wanted to know?
I would have known Carol Burnett.
I would have known Mickey Mouse if he was real.
3. If you had broken a world record, which one would it have been?
I would have broken a record in skiing.
I would have broken a record in physics research.
4. Imagine you went to a red carpet event. What would you have worn?
I would have rented a suit.
I would have bought a formal, floor-length gown.
5. If you had walked for two miles today, where would you have gone?
After one mile, I would have arrived at a shopping center. I would have eaten and walked home.
I could have walked to the park, walked around the path and come home.
6. Remember when you were a child. If you had completed a test and the rest of the students were still busy, what would you have done?
I would have drawn pictures with my colored pencils.
I would have put my head on the desk and taken a nap.
7. Describe a situation in the past in which you had considered something and arrived at a different conclusion.
I had considered going to graduate school, but decided it was too much trouble.
I had considered adopting a child, but then I became pregnant with my own.
8. Describe a situation when you had depended on someone. How did it work out?
I had depended on my parents and their financial help for years. Then I had to stop relying on them.
I had depended on my friend's advice when I was young, but finally, I realized I had to make my own decisions.
9. If you had proven yourself in your area of expertise by the time you were 21, what would you have done?
I would have written a textbook on languages.
I would have become the CEO of my software company.
10. If you had formed a music group when you were 15 years old, what kind of music would you have played?
When I was 15, I would have played alternative music.
When I was 15, I would have played country music.

Bonus: Summarize this past year in some detail and use the present perfect to discuss all the things you have done.

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