Past perfect continuous

( Free Online English Grammar Lessons )

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Past Perfect Continuous Form : ( Had + been + verb + -ing )

In English we use the past perfect continuous to talk about a period of time which was in progress before another time in the past.

The table below shows the different forms of past perfect continuous :

Example verb : playI / We / You / They / He / She / It
Positive...'d been playing ...
Negative... hadn't been playing ...
QuestionsHad ... been playing ...?
Short answers

Yes, ... had. /

No, ... hadn't.

Past Perfect Continuous Example Sentences :

Positive Examples of Past Perfect Continuous : 

  • They had been playing cards for hours before the police arrived.
  • She had been working at that bank for three years when they fired her.
  • Brooke had been learning ballet for 8 years before she had the accident.
  • We had been waiting for over two hours when the concert finally started!

Negative Examples of Past Perfect Continuous : 

  • Sarah had not been practicing her French when she arrived in Paris.
  • He hadn't been looking very hard when hecame across his keys on a chair.
  • Phoebe hadn't been feeling well before she fainted.

Question Examples of Past Perfect Continuous : 

  • Had you been exercising before you fell down?
  • Where had he been walking for so long?
  • What had she been doing all this time? 


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Be going to
Be going to passive
Be used to / Get used to
Comparative
Defining relative clause
Echo tag
Expression
First conditional
Future
Future continuous
Future perfect continuous
Future perfect passive
Future perfect simple
Future simple passive
Greeting
Have/Get something done
Imperative
Implied conditional
Indirect question
Infinitive of purpose
Interjection
Mixed conditional
Modal
Modal passive
Non-defining relative clause
Other
Past continuous
Past continuous passive
Past perfect continuous
Past perfect passive
Past perfect simple
Past simple
Past simple passive
Polite request / offer / suggestion
Present continuous
Present continuous passive
Present perfect continuous
Present perfect passive
Present perfect simple
Present simple
Present simple passive
Question tag
Reduced relative clause
Reported speech imperative
Reported speech question
Reported speech request
Reported speech statement
Second conditional
Short answer
Superlative
Third conditional
Used to / would (past habit)
Was/were going to
Was/were supposed to
Wish
Would rather
Zero conditional