Past Perfect Continuous Tense shows that an action started in the past and continued up to another point in the past. For example, if a sentence begins with: “I had been waiting for two hours,” it means that the speaker waited for two hours before something happened. It can also be used to show that action stopped in the past before something else happened. For example, if a sentence begins with: “I had been waiting for him,” it means that I waited for him, but he did not arrive.
Past perfect continuous tense is also one of the forms of verb tenses. Today, we are going to discuss past perfect continuous with examples, formula, and exercises at the end.
The past perfect continuous tense is used to describe the action that was not completed by a certain date or time in the past. We can say that we add the idea of the past continuous tense to the idea of the past perfect tense.
Structure / Formula
Past perfect continuous tense is made by the use of ‘had’ as in the past perfect followed by ‘been’ and V1(+ing) form of the verb.
Formula for affirmative sentences.
Subject + had + been + present participle + time reference.
He/She/It/You/I/We/They + had + been + present participle
- They had been living in Glasgow since 1990.
- I had been attending the office for one week.
Subject + had + not + been + present participle + time reference.
- They had not been living in Glasgow since 1990.
- I had not been attending the office for one week.
Had + subject + been + present participle + time reference + ?
- Had they been living in Glasgow since 1990?
- Had I been attending the office for one week?
Rules / Usage
|To emphasize the action duration that completed before another action.||She had been studying for two years before she got the degree.|
|The past action that continued for some time and result of which was visible.||She was tired. Why?|
She had been working since morning.
|Time expression||He had been sleeping since 10 p.m.|
- She had been practicing verbs for two weeks.
- I had been drinking coffee for five years.
- I had been visiting Paris for two years.
- Tom had been waiting for Julia for two hours.
- The gardener had been planting flowers for twenty years.
- Cool breeze had been blowing since morning.
- Had he been jogging for one hour?
- It had been raining since midnight.
- He had been suffering from fever for many days.
- Sara had been learning French for three months.
- I had been studying at this college for many years.
- His business had been making progress by leaps and bounds.
- Rita had been teaching English Grammar.
- What had you been doing for five hours?
- Haris had been sleeping for 8 hours when the mother woke him up.
- The laborers _______________ in this mine for several years. (work)
- I ________________ this novel for one week. (read)
- The salesman ______________ the target of sales for many years. (achieve)
- The mechanic _______________ the car for two days. (repair)
- Jimmy ______________ online for many years. (earn)
- He _______________ this shirt for many days. (wear)
- George _______________ around the world since 2006. (travel)
- The kids _______________ cartoons since the evening. (watch)
- The horse _______________. (neigh)
- I _______________ to work. (drive)
- She ______________ Sacred Games for five hours. (watch)
- They ______________ rugby since morning. (play)
- The laborers had been working in this mine for several years.
- I had been reading this novel for one week.
- The salesman had been achieving the target of sales for many years.
- The mechanic had been repairing the car for two days.
- Jimmy had been earning online for many years.
- He had been wearing this shirt for many days.
- George had been traveling around the world since 2006.
- The kids had been watching cartoons since the evening.
- The horse had been neighing.
- I had been driving to work.
- She had been watching Sacred Games for five hours.
- They had been playing rugby since morning.