Past Perfect Continuous for intermediate learners

This tense is an advanced tense, but it’s not hard to learn. This tense will allow you to talk about things that happened in the past in a more interesting way.

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"Past Perfect Continuous" Tense in English Grammar

What Is Past Perfect Continuous?

The past perfect continuous tense talks about a continuous action that happened in the past and finished in the past.

Structure

We form the past perfect continuous tense with the help of two auxiliary verbs and the '-ing' form of the main verb.

had + been + present participle

I, You, He, She, It, We, They had been running

If we invert the subject and had, we can make questions.

Negations are made with the help of 'not placed between 'had' and 'been.'

I had been running for an hour when Sally called. → Had you been running for an hour when Sally called?

I had been working for three years when finally I got promotion. → I hadn't been working for three years when finally I got promotion

Use

We use the past perfect continuous to talk about something that started in the past and continued for some time in the past and finished in the past.

She had been running for two hours before she ate her dinner.

I was exhausted because I had been running.

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