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Past Perfect Continuous (Progressive)


Past perfect continuous tense

The past perfect continuous refers to a duration of an event taking place before a certain time in the past.

Form of the past perfect continuous:

had been verb +ing
Affirmative Negative Interrogative
I had been working. I had not been working. Had I been working?
You had been working. You had not been working. Had you been working?

Examples:

  • You had been waiting there for more than two hours when she finally arrived.
  • Had you been waiting there for more than two hours when she finally arrived?
  • You had not been waiting there for more than two hours when she finally arrive.

Use of the past perfect continuous:

past perfect continuous

1. We use the past perfect continuous to show that something started in the past and continued up until another action stopped it.

Example:

  • We had been playing soccer when the accident occurred

2. We use the past perfect continuous to show that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past. In this case we use expressions of duration such as:

  • for an hour
  • for three years

Example:

  • I had been living in that small town for three years before I moved to New York.

3. We use the Past Perfect Continuous before another action in the past to show cause and effect.

Example:

  • I was so tired. I had been revising my lessons for hours.
Past Perfect Simple
Past perfect simple.
Exercises on the past perfect and past perfect continuous.