Verb tenses – past – perfect – continuous

The past perfect continuous tense, also known as the past perfect progressive tense, is a verb tense used to describe an ongoing action that started in the past and continued up until another point in the past. It emphasizes the duration or continuity of an action in the past.

The past perfect continuous is formed by using the past perfect tense of the auxiliary verb “have” (had), the auxiliary verb “been,” and the present participle (-ing form) of the main verb.

The basic structure is: had + been + present participle (-ing form of the verb).

Here are some examples:

  1. She had been studying all day before her friends came over. (She was studying for a continuous period of time before her friends arrived.)
  2. They had been waiting for two hours when the bus finally arrived. (They were waiting continuously for two hours before the bus came.)
  3. I had been working on the project for weeks before I submitted it. (I was continuously working on the project for weeks before I handed it in.)

The past perfect continuous tense helps to establish a relationship between two past events or actions, with one action being continuous and ongoing in the past before another event occurred. It is often used in storytelling, to provide background information or describe a past action that was in progress.

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