Past Perfect Continuous Tense in English | Formula, Rules and Examples

what is past perfect continuous tense in English grammar?

It’s used to describe an action that was accomplished at some point in the past after a period of time. The verb is used after had been.

Affirmative sentence Formation

  • After the subject put helping verb had been.
  • Then use the root form of verb (first form of verb) with “ing”.
  • Then thirdly, use the “for” and “since”.
  • “For” denotes a timing, whereas “since” denotes a continuous activity or occurrence in the past.

Past perfect continuous formula

Sub + Helping verb + Root verb form+ ing + obj + Since/For + remaining sentence
They + had been + reading + story + since morning
We + had been + reading + story + since morning
He + had been + reading + story + since morning
She + had been + reading + story + since morning
You + had been + reading + story + since morning
It + had been + reading + story + since morning
I + had been + reading + story + since morning

Past perfect continuous affirmative examples

  • He had been living in this house since childhood.
  • We had been opposing him for five years.
  • He had been playing hockey for one years.
  • She had been writing a letter for three minutes.
  • Jan had been singing a song.

Past perfect continuous affirmative sentence 

Past Perfect Continuous Tense in English

Negative sentence Formation

Between “had” and “been” in a negative phrase, “not” is used.

Past perfect continuous formula

Sub + had not been + Root verb form+ ing + obj + Since/For + remaining sentence
They + had not been + reading + story + since morning
We + had not been + reading + story + since morning
He + had not been + reading + story + since morning
She + had not been + reading + story + since morning
You + had not been + reading + story + since morning
It + had not been + reading + story + since morning
I + had not been + reading + story + since morning

Past perfect continuous negative examples

  • The juggler had not been impressing the people since morning.
  • Jan had not been offering prayer since 3 o’ clock.
  • He had not been publishing a book for three years.
  • The girl had not been pressing the clothes since evening.
  • Ali had not been ringing her for an hour.
  • He had not been shedding tears for ten minutes?

Past Perfect Continuous negative sentence structure

past perfect continuous

Interrogative sentence Formation

In an interrogative statement, had comes before the subject, and other question words like “how,” “where,” and “why” come before had.

Past perfect continuous formula

Had Sub + been + Root verb form+ ing + obj + Since/For + remaining sentence
Had they + been + reading + story + since morning
Had we + been + reading + story + since morning
Had he + been + reading + story + since morning
Had she + been + reading + story + since morning
Had you + been + reading + story + since morning
Had it + been + reading + story + since morning
Had i + been + reading + story + since morning

Past perfect continuous interrogative examples

  • Had the boys been preparing for B.A examination since January?
  • Had he been abusing him?
  • Had they been waiting for you for an hour?
  • Had he been publishing a book for three years?
  • Had you been watching a play for two days?
  • Had Usman been playing marbles since afternoon?

Check: All 12 Tenses Structure

Interrogative sentences of past perfect continuous

Past Perfect Continuous Tense examples

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Present Indefinite tense

Present continuous tense

Present perfect Tense

present perfect continuous tense

 

 

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