Past Perfect Continuous tense



Past perfect continuous tense expresses an action that had been going on for sometime in the past.

There will be a time reference, such as "since 2000, for two hours etc" from which the action had started. We use 'for' with a period of time while 'since' is used to express a point of time.




Look at the following examples:

  1. She had been playing since morning.
    (It means that she played till sometime in past.)
  2. He had been sleeping for two hours.
    (It means that he slept till sometime in past.)


Note. When there is no reference of any, point of time or period of time, we use past continuous tense.


The past perfect continuous tense is one of four Past tenses. They are Past simple tense, Past continuous tense, Past perfect tense and Past Perfect continuous tense.







How to make the past perfect continuous




Positive (Past perfect continuous)

Past perfect continuous sentences, have the following structure :

  • Subject + auxiliary verb + main verb (Present participle) +.........+ since/for +.....
  • Subject + had been + Ist form of verb + ing +..........+ since/for +.....

For examples:

  1. We had been waiting for you since Monday.
  2. They had been playing cricket since morning.
  3. He had been sleeping for three hours.

REMEMBER

Rules:  For past perfect continuous sentences:


Use of Since or For:

  • "For" is used to express period of time; as, morning, evening, etc.
  • "Since" is used to denote point of time; as, some time, hours, months, etc.





Negative (Past perfect continuous)

Past perfect continuous negative sentences, have the following structure  :

  • Subject + auxiliary verb + not + auxiiary verb + main verb (Present participle) +........+ since/for +.... .
  • Subject + had + not + been + Ist form of verb + ing +.....+ since/for +.... .

For examples:

  1. We had not been waiting for you since Monday.
  2. They had not been playing cricket since morning.
  3. He had not been sleeping for three hours.


Interrogative (Past perfect continuous)

Past perfect continuous interrogative sentences, have the following structure:

  • Auxiliary verb + Subject + auxiliary verb + main verb (Present participle) +........+ since/for +....?
  • Had + Subject + been + Ist form of verb + ing +........+ since/for +....?

For examples:

  1. Had we been waiting for you since Monday?
  2. Had they been playing cricket since morning?
  3. Had he been sleeping for three hours?

Interrogative negative (Past perfect continuous)

Past perfect continuous interrogative negative sentences, have the following structure:

  • Auxiliary verb + Subject + not + auxiliary verb + main verb (Present participle) +........+ since/for +....?
  • Had + Subject + not + been + Ist form of verb + ing +........+ since/for +....?

For examples:

  1. Had we not been waiting for you since Monday?
  2. Had they not been playing cricket since morning?
  3. Had he not been sleeping for three hours?




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Related topics:


Present Tense

  1. Present simple tense
  2. Present continuous tense
  3. Present perfect tense
  4. Present Perfect continuous tense

Past Tense

  1. Past simple tense
  2. Past continuous tense
  3. Past perfect tense
  4. Past Perfect continuous tense

Future Tense

  1. Future simple tense
  2. Future continuous tense
  3. Future perfect tense
  4. Future Perfect continuous tense