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Past Perfect Continuous Tense
The structure of the past perfect continuous
tense
subject +

auxiliary
verb
HAVE
conjugated
in simple
past tense
had

+

auxiliary
verb BE

+

main
verb

past
participle

present
participle

been

base +
ing
example sentences with the past perfect
continuous tense
auxiliary
subject
verb

auxiliary
main verb
verb

+ I

had

been

working.

+ You

had

been

playing

tennis.

- It

had

not been

working

well.

- We

had

not been

expecting her.

? Had

you

been

drinking?

? Had

they

been

waiting

long?
contract the subject and first auxiliary verb
I had been

I'd been

you had been

you'd been

he had
she had been
it had been

he'd been
she'd been
it'd been

we had been

we'd been

they had been

they'd been
USE 1 : Duration Before Something in the
Past
We use the Past Perfect Continuous to show that
something started in the past and continued up until
another time in the past.
"For five minutes" and "for two weeks" are both
durations which can be used with the Past Perfect
Continuous.
Notice that this is related to the Present Perfect
Continuous; however, the duration does not
continue until now, it stops before something else in
the past.
Examples:
• They had been talking for over an hour before Tony
arrived.
• She had been working at that company for three
years when it went out of business.
• How long had you been waiting to get on the bus?
• Mike wanted to sit down because he had been
standing all day at work.
• James had been teaching at the university for more
than a year before he left for Asia.
• A: How long had you been studying Turkish before
you moved to Ankara?
B: I had not been studying Turkish very long.
USE 2 Cause of Something in the Past

Using the Past Perfect Continuous before another
action in the past is a good way to show cause and
effect.
Examples:
•Jason was tired because he had been jogging.
•Sam gained weight because he had been overeating.
•Betty failed the final test because she had not been
attending class
Past Continuous vs. Past Perfect Continuous
If you do not include a duration such as "for five
minutes," "for two weeks" or "since Friday,"
many English speakers choose to use the Past
Continuous rather than the Past Perfect
Continuous. Be careful because this can
change the meaning of the sentence.
Past Continuous emphasizes interrupted
actions, whereas Past Perfect Continuous
emphasizes a duration of time before
something in the past.
Study the examples below to understand
the difference.
• He was tired because he was exercising so
hard.
(This sentence emphasizes that he was tired
because he was exercising at that exact
moment. )
• He was tired because he had been exercising so
hard.
(This sentence emphasizes that he was tired
because he had been exercising over a period of
time. It is possible that he was still exercising at
REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs /
Mixed Verbs
• It is important to remember that NonContinuous Verbs cannot be used in any
continuous tenses.
• Also, certain non-continuous meanings for
Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous
tenses. Instead of using Past Perfect
Continuous with these verbs, you must use
Past Perfect.
Examples:
• The motorcycle had been belonging to
George for years before Tina bought it.
(Not Correct)

• The motorcycle had belonged to George for
years before Tina bought it.
(Correct)
ADVERB PLACEMENT
The examples below show the placement for
grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never,
ever, still, just, etc.
Examples:
• You had only been waiting there for a few
minutes when she arrived.
• Had you only been waiting there for a few
minutes when she arrived?

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1-NLC-MATH7-Consolidation-Lesson1 2024.pptx
 

Past perfect continuous tense

  • 2. The structure of the past perfect continuous tense subject + auxiliary verb HAVE conjugated in simple past tense had + auxiliary verb BE + main verb past participle present participle been base + ing
  • 3. example sentences with the past perfect continuous tense auxiliary subject verb auxiliary main verb verb + I had been working. + You had been playing tennis. - It had not been working well. - We had not been expecting her. ? Had you been drinking? ? Had they been waiting long?
  • 4. contract the subject and first auxiliary verb I had been I'd been you had been you'd been he had she had been it had been he'd been she'd been it'd been we had been we'd been they had been they'd been
  • 5. USE 1 : Duration Before Something in the Past We use the Past Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past. "For five minutes" and "for two weeks" are both durations which can be used with the Past Perfect Continuous. Notice that this is related to the Present Perfect Continuous; however, the duration does not continue until now, it stops before something else in the past.
  • 6. Examples: • They had been talking for over an hour before Tony arrived. • She had been working at that company for three years when it went out of business. • How long had you been waiting to get on the bus? • Mike wanted to sit down because he had been standing all day at work. • James had been teaching at the university for more than a year before he left for Asia. • A: How long had you been studying Turkish before you moved to Ankara? B: I had not been studying Turkish very long.
  • 7. USE 2 Cause of Something in the Past Using the Past Perfect Continuous before another action in the past is a good way to show cause and effect. Examples: •Jason was tired because he had been jogging. •Sam gained weight because he had been overeating. •Betty failed the final test because she had not been attending class
  • 8. Past Continuous vs. Past Perfect Continuous If you do not include a duration such as "for five minutes," "for two weeks" or "since Friday," many English speakers choose to use the Past Continuous rather than the Past Perfect Continuous. Be careful because this can change the meaning of the sentence. Past Continuous emphasizes interrupted actions, whereas Past Perfect Continuous emphasizes a duration of time before something in the past.
  • 9. Study the examples below to understand the difference. • He was tired because he was exercising so hard. (This sentence emphasizes that he was tired because he was exercising at that exact moment. ) • He was tired because he had been exercising so hard. (This sentence emphasizes that he was tired because he had been exercising over a period of time. It is possible that he was still exercising at
  • 10. REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs / Mixed Verbs • It is important to remember that NonContinuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. • Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Past Perfect Continuous with these verbs, you must use Past Perfect.
  • 11. Examples: • The motorcycle had been belonging to George for years before Tina bought it. (Not Correct) • The motorcycle had belonged to George for years before Tina bought it. (Correct)
  • 12. ADVERB PLACEMENT The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc. Examples: • You had only been waiting there for a few minutes when she arrived. • Had you only been waiting there for a few minutes when she arrived?