In this article various forms of Past Perfect Continuous Tense examples are given to help understand different ways in which the tense is used in real life English communication. Also in the end some sentences are given for your practice.
Past Perfect Continuous Tense
Mary had been working as a nun for 30 years when she passed away in 2015. This shows an action that started in the past and continued for a period of time until some action happened in the past. Past perfect continuous tense, like the past perfect, is used in combination with the simple past tense.
Structure: Subject + Had been + Verb 1 (V1) + Ing + Object
- Rahul had been waiting for the bus for half an hour when his friend picked him up.
- She had been watching the movie for two hours.
- The previous king had been alive when his heir became the new king.
- During this time last year, it had been raining for three days continuously.
- When I went to college, the lecture had been going on for half an hour already.
Rule: This tense is also used for expressing an action in the past which is repeated many times. For example,
- She had been trying to contact you.
Past Perfect Continuous Tense Examples
Like every tense, the past perfect continuous also has four forms through which it can be expressed. The four are as follows:
Positive : Subject + Had been + Verb 1 (V1) + Ing + Object
Positive Interrogative : Had +Subject + been + V1 + ing + Object?
Negative: Subject + Had not been + Verb 1 (V1) + Ing + Object
Negative Interrogative : Had +Subject + not been + V1 + ing + Object?
Look at the following example
She had been trying to contact you – the four forms of the above example can be written as
- Positive : She had been trying to contact you.
- Positive Interrogative : Had she been trying to contact you?
- Negative: She had not been trying to contact you.
- Negative Interrogative : Had she not been trying to contact you?
Exercise: Let us take some more examples and write them in all the four forms.
- Had she not been aspiring to get a job?
- I had not been planning this meeting with you.
- She had been writing her first novel when she turned 10.