If I used to work in a company, which one of the sentences given below is correct when I am telling someone about this experience:

(1) I have worked in this company before; or

(2) I had worked in this company before.

I was taught that it's fine to use 'have + p.p.' as a way of description when we are talking about our experience. However, I was also taught that if the thing we are talking about has been done/over in the past, we should use 'had + p.p.' instead. Therefore, I was wondering which one is correct or are these two sentences both available for this context?

2 Answers 2


This question has been answered multiple times on ELL but I think I may have found a very simple answer:

(1) I have worked at/for this company before; [would be said in a present time and merely informs us that this is a past event, that is true when you are speaking,but does not provide a time such as last year.]

(2) I had worked at/for this company before. [would be said in the present time about something which occurred before something else in the past.]

I had worked at XYZ company before, after I worked at ABC company.

worked = in the past

had worked = before that. It precedes the simple past activity.

Your choice will depend on your overall context and what you wish to emphasize or say. It is not a grammar issue since both are fine.

  • @Lambie: Should it be "I had worked at XYZ company before, before I worked at ABC company."? And maybe get rid of one "before"?
    – virolino
    Mar 25, 2019 at 10:20
  1. "Yes. I have worked at this company before." The sentence is only about whether I've worked here before.
  2. "I had worked at this company before I was shipped overseas with the Army." The sentence mentions that I've worked here but only as a frame of reference to leaving with the Army.

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