past perfect continuous tense
Tense

PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE( definition, formula, exercises

Past perfect continuous tense

Tense which means time in this article we study past perfect continuous tense. It refers to a specific Continuous action or time. Which is quite clear from the meaning.  Let’s put a glance over the table.

No:PastPerfectContinuousTense
1Before now Past means a time that is not in the present or future.Completed It refers to completion. Perfect means completed (action).  Going on the action. It indicates the action which was going on.Time, age, or period This is one quite clear means: time, age, or period. So let’s move to the definition of the past perfect tense.

Definition:

It indicates an ongoing action that was completed at some specific period/ time in the past.

E.x.

I had been teaching English since 20220.

so, in the above sentence ‘ it talks about an ongoing action that was completed in 2020. This means the starting point is not known but it was continuous until that specific time in 2020.

Formation of the sentences.

We use the helping verb had + been + present participle of the verb + ing.

e.g.

  • He had been watching the movie the whole night.
  • They had been writing the novel.

1) Positive formula/structure.

subjectHelping verb “Had”Be a form of the verb   
“BE”
Dynamic verb
(Main verb + ing)
Time Phrase
Subject
+    
Had  +‘been’ which is third from 
+ Of ‘be’
PlayingSine, for yesterday.
He Had been playing since yesterday.

Subject + had + been + 1st form of the verb + ing + object/ complement.

More examples:

  • He had been washing late at night.
  • It had been raining yesterday.
  • She had been studying for three hours.
  • They had been playing the game for 5 hours.
  • We had been running hard.

2) Negative formula/structure.

subjectHelping verb “Had”NotBe a form of the verb
“BE”
Dynamic verb Main verb + ingTime Phrase
Subject
+    
Had  +Not‘been’ which is third from  + Of ‘be’PlayingSine, for yesterday.
He had notbeenplayingsince yesterday.

Subject + had + not + been + 1st form of the verb + ing + object/complement.

More examples:

  • He had not been washing late at night.
  • It had not been raining yesterday.
  • She had not been studying for three hours.
  • They had not been playing the game for 5 hours.
  • We had not been running hard.

3) Interrogative formula/structure.

Helping verb “Had”SubjectBe a form of the verb            “BE”Dynamic verb Main verb + ingTime PhraseQuestion mark
Had  +     Subject‘been’ which is third from  + Of ‘be’PlayingSine, for yesterday.?
Hadhebeenplayingsince yesterday?

Helping verb ‘Had’ + subject + not + been + 1st form of the verb + ing + object/complement?

More examples:

  • Had he been washing late at night?
  • Had it been raining yesterday?

We use had with both singular and plural subjects.

  • Had she been studying for three hours?
  • Had they been playing the game for 5 hours?

Note: we use ‘since’ & ’for ’in addition. We use a time clause.

Since. It indicates the starting period of the ending period of action.

Like:

  •  He had been teaching grammar since 1993.
  • She had been working since the begging.

For: it indicates the duration of action.  Means how long an action is going on.

  • He had been teaching grammar for many years.
  • She had been working for two years.

More examples.

  1. They had been cleaning since morning.
  2. We had been running for many hours.
  3. She had been doing her work when I called her.
  4. Teachers had been teaching for many decades.
  5. The leader had been leading since begging of the year.
  6. She had been watching late at night.
  7. Kamran and John had been typing since 10 pm.
  8. They had been driving perfectly.
  9. Had they been driving perfectly?
  10. The man had not been serious.

Exercises

Fill in the blanks correctly and use past perfect continuous tense.

  1.   She _________________ the teachers in the class. (Tease)
  2. He ____________________since July. (Teach)
  3. They had ______________the room before meal.( clean)
  4. We had ___________________ whole the day when we were young. Swim)
  5. They _________________ the movie. (watching)
  6. Kamran had not been ____________ football game when we arrived. (play)
  7. The water ________________ since morning. (flow)
  8. The water ____________________ since morning. (flowing)
  9. Had they __________________ the room when we approached? (clean)
  10. John and Timmy _________________since night. (sing)
  11. The machine had been _____________well. ( run)
  12. Had I ________________the book for two hours? ( read)
  13. King and queen had been _________________(order).
  14. _________she been ________the whole day? (driving)
  15. We had __________________ for now. (struggle)

Check out the answers over here & rectify your answers.

  1. She had been teasing the teachers in the class.
  2. He had been teaching since July.
  3. They had been cleaning the room before a meal.
  4. We had been swimming whole the day when we were young.
  5. They had been watching the movie.
  6. Kamran had not been playing a football games when we arrived.
  7. The water had been flowing since morning.
  8. The water had not been flowing since morning.
  9. Had they been cleaning the room when we approached?
  10. John and Timmy had not been singing since night.
  11. The machine had been running well.
  12. Had I been reading the book for two hours?
  13. King and queen had been ordering.
  14. Had she been driving the whole day?
  15. We had not been struggling for now.

True and false exercise.

  1. I never had been smoke.    
  2. She had been sewing the cloths.   
  3. They had drinking for many hours.
  4. Had I been liked by them?    
  5. What I had been doing last night?  
  6. We had been serving for many year.    
  7. When they arrived we had been washing the hall for 1 hour.  
  8. She had been wait for me.
  9. They had not been wait for me. 
  10. The man had been reporting until his death last night.   
  11. All the people had been ride. false
  12. Did you find them when they had been destroying the wall? 
  13. The total match had been wrong.  
  14. Had he drove the car yesterday?
  15. Had not she been fighting last year?    

The answers of the true and false. check them out and rectify your work.

  1. I never had been smoke.     false
  2. She had been sewing the cloths.   True
  3. They had drinking for many hours.     false
  4. Had I been liked by them?      false
  5. What I had been doing last night?  True
  6. We had been serving for many year.     True
  7. When they arrived we had been washing the hall for 1 hour.   True
  8. She had been wait for me.   false
  9. They had not been wait for me.   false
  10. The man had been reporting until his death last night.   True
  11. All the people had been ride.   false
  12. Did you find them when they had been destroying the wall?  True
  13. The total match had been wrong.    false
  14. Had he drove the car yesterday?    false
  15. Had not she been fighting last year?    True

Multiple questions: There are three options from which one is correct. Have an attempt on the question to improve your grammar.

  1. They had been _____________ the room.
  • a) Clean
  • b) Cleaned
  • c)Cleaning

2) She had not been ______________ until we reached.

  • a)  Screaming
  • b) had to scream
  • c) Screamed.

3) What had I been _______________ in the ground?

  • a) do
  • b) did
  • c) doing

4) Had she __________ the people in the hall?

  • a) Served
  • b) Been serving
  • c) Serve.

5) What I ___________ when I was six year?

  • a) Have doing
  • b) Had been doing
  • c) Had to do

6) She had been ________ the song when we called her.

  • a) Sing
  • b) Singed
  • c) Singing

7) I had been _____________ slowly since morning.

  • a) Move
  • b) Moving
  • c) Had moved

8) The teacher had _____________ until last minutes yesterday.

  • a) been Teaching
  • b) Had to teach
  • c) have teaching

9) Did we find when he had _____________?

  • a) Had been escaping
  • b) been escaping
  • c) Had been escaped

10) The whole class had been ____________ in the morning.

  • a) Shouting
  • b) Shout
  • c) Was shouting

11) When she played the music we had _________ the book.

  • a) Be read
  • b) Been reading
  • c) Had read

12) The principle ______________ informing everyone.

  • a) Have been
  • b) Had been
  • c) Has been

13) We had been __________ the papers when light came.

  • a) Checked
  • b) Checking
  • c) had a check

14) ____________ I been traveling to London?

  • a) Had
  • b) Did
  • c) Do

15) ________ she been ________ for many time.

  • a) Had, Appealing
  • b) Had,  Appealed
  • c) Had,  appealing

More relevant grammars:

Present Perfect Continuous Tense:

Future perfect Continuous tense:

Simple Present Tense

Answers to the multiple questions

  1. cleaning
  2. screaming
  3. doing
  4. been serving
  5. had been doing
  6. singing
  7. moving
  8. been teaching
  9. been escaping
  10. shouting
  11. been reading
  12. had been
  13. checking
  14. Had
  15. had, appealing

Worksheet

Past perfect continuous tense worksheet
Past perfect continuous tense worksheet answers