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Past Perfect Continuous Verb Tense - Past Tense



How is the past perfect continuous verb tense used?

The past perfect continuous verb tense is a one of four past tenses in English. The past perfect continuous verb tense is used to:

  • represent the "past in the past"
  • repeated actions
  • clarify the order of 2 past actions
  • answers the question "how long"
  • clarifies the order of two past actions
  • states that an action was in progress, when a second action stared
  • represents the conclusion of an event action
  • states the duration of an event, before a past action

The past perfect continuous verb tense can be used to state that an action was still in progress when the 2nd action started.

When is the past perfect continuous verb tense used?

There are 6 ways the past prefect continuous verb tense is used:

The past perfect continuous verb tense is used to state the first action had been happening over a period of time, when more then one or more actions occurred.

When 2 actions happened in the past, the past perfect continuous verb tense is used to clarify which action happened first.

  • The first action is clarified by using the past perfect continuous verb tense.
  • The second action is clarified by using the past simple verb tense.

Examples:

  • Mary looked tired. I could see that she had been studying for her English test recently.
  • The children were soaking wet.I knew they had been swimming in the lake.

The past perfect continuous verb tense is used to state actions happen repeatedly.

Examples:

  • The bus has been coming late everyday this week.
  • The teacher has been giving us exams every week for the past few weeks.

The past perfect continuous verb tense is used to make conclusions.

Examples:

  • There was a leak in the pipes, that is why the water bill had been getting higher and higher each month.
  • The teacher looks very tired. She has been marking test all day.

The past perfect continuous verb tense is also used to state a past action that occurred over a period of time.

Example:

  • I have been playing the violin, since I was a child.
  • We have been working in the university for many years.

There are many cases where the past perfect continuous verb tense can be interchangeable with the simple past perfect verb tense.

Examples:

  • I had slept all night. - past perfect verb tense
  • I had been sleeping all night. - past perfect continuous verb tense
  • I have lived in this house many years. - - past perfect verb tense
  • I have been living in this house for many years. - past perfect continuous verb tense

The past perfect continuous verb tense can be used to answer the question "how long".

Examples:

  • How long had you been waiting for the bus to come?
  • How many year had you been studying to be a teacher?

Tips:

The past perfect continuous verb tense is also known as "past perfect progressive tense".

The past perfect continuous verb tense is used in English is used to emphasize:

  • the action/activity
  • the length of time



Past Simple Tense

Past Simple Tense & Present Perfect Tense

Past Tense Stucture Tense

Past Simple Tense Chart

Past Continuous Tense

Past Continuous Tense Chart

Past Perfect Tense

Past Perfect Tense Chart

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Past Perfect Continuous Tense Chart

Have Object Past Participle