Past tense 4 – Past perfect continuous

by Chmayzen EL.
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1. Introduction

The past perfect continuous is very similar to the present perfect continuous.
It is constructed by using: subject + had been + present participle (-ing)

Use the past perfect continuous to talk about something that had been going on for some time before something else happened. There are usually two separate things that happen in a past perfect continuous statement.

2. Forming the past perfect

The past perfect continuous is composed of two elements – the past perfect of the verb to be (=had been) + the present participle (base+ing).

Subject had been verb + ing
I had been walking
Affirmative
She had been trying
Negative
She hadn’t been sleeping
Interrogative
Had you been eating?
Interrogative negative
Hadn’t they been living?

3. Examples

  • Had you been waiting long before the bus arrived?
  • We had been trying to open the door for five minutes when Jane found her key.
  • It had been raining hard for several hours and the streets were very wet.

To sleep, past perfect continuous

Affirmative Negative Interrogative
I had been sleeping I hadn’t been sleeping Had I been sleeping?
You had been sleeping You hadn’t been sleeping Had you been sleeping?
She had been sleeping She hadn’t been buying Had she been sleeping?
We had been sleeping We hadn’t been sleeping Had we been sleeping?
They had been sleeping They hadn’t been sleeping Had they been sleeping?
5150cookie-checkPast tense 4 – Past perfect continuous

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