The scene: You are a teacher of English as a second language.
You have covered the easier future and past tenses.
Your students have already discovered that you’re mad.
Now read on….
Pay attention students, for now I shall make sense
of that confusing English treat, it’s the pluperfect tense.
Not just, ‘over’, ‘done and dusted’, ‘I’ve done that at last’.
No, this adds the extra layer of ‘over in the past’.
What do you mean! what’s done is done, hang on now not so fast…
…something finished, something done…. of course it’s in the past!
I’ll explain then. Yesterday, you had your breakfast, right?
Got up, showered, prepared and ate, I hope it was something light?
You’re already fat for one so young, so just keep off that grease.
Or else you’ll turn out like your mother, clinically obese!
Keep to the point please, crazy teacher, don’t treat us like sheep.
Rambling on may serve to amuse, but that sends us to sleep.
At least your lessons mostly don’t fit category ‘boring’
Tell us a story, make your point, or you’ll soon hear us snoring.
Ok, The scene: The breakfast table, a fine repast is spread.
Fruit and nuts, cheesy weasel hearts, fine sliced wholemeal bread.
The best the planet offers as the means to sustain life,
all lavishly caressed with kechup, spread out with a knife.
Breakfast eaten, suddenly, ringing on the doorbell.
You open, it’s the postman, Fred, looking worse than hell.
Hands you package, silently, just standing at the door,
clutches chest, with widening eyes, he falls down to the floor.
Ambulance called, ‘Fred’s dead, in race with life he’s just been beaten! ’
We’ll be right there, don’t touch the body, ‘I won’t, I’ve already eaten’.
Then Police arrive, they search the place, on the table find..the knife!
smeared with red, ‘Aha! So you used this to take Fred’s life?’
You point him to the breakfast plate whilst trying not to retch up **
I think you’ll find, and lab tests prove, that that is only ketchup **
The policeman, doggedly persistant, tries another tack,
‘So you were having breakfast, appeasing hunger with this snack?
I’d say your reckless grammar led to this postman being dead.
“were having”!… it was the past continuous tense that upset Fred!’
‘Upset him to his death I’d say, of that there is no doubt,
but ‘no!’ I hear, you’d finished? eaten up? what’s this you shout?
You had had your breakfast, aha, now this makes some sense!
You went and did for poor old Fred with the pluperfect tense!!!
So it goes… I’m out of prison, on the trial I won’t dwell,
That time provides an epic story, to the class I tell.
I try, in situations, to see the positive, and the best
So now we see the benefit in a pluperfect grammar test!
I gave this test just this last year, to a couple of star pupils **
gave them headaches! painkillers needed… they both had to take two pills. **
An essay, if you will, on the pluperfect tense, let’s see
if you get it. Those star pupils names? well they were Gwee and Smee.
How did it go? Well both were good, who turned out best? To agree,
in terms of grasping pluperfect tense, who conquered? Well now, Gwee,
where Smee had had ‘had’, had had ‘had had’. ‘Had had’ had had my
………… of a
** ace rhyming… go on nominate me for the ‘rhyme of the year award’. I’ll turn it down of course, graciously, but it’d just be nice to know you… cared.