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|
- 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
|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?|