We use the past perfect continuous to talk about actions or situations that were in progress before some other actions or situations.

We use past perfect continuous in these cases:


  • Duration of a past action


I had been dating with him for two years before we broke up.

 He had been working at that company for three years before we met.

How long had you been waiting for the bus?


  • For causes of something in the past (past perfect continuous is a good way to show cause and effect)


Kate was tired because she had been exercising.

He failed the final test because he had not been studying.

The grass was wet because it had been raining.



Structure sentence:


  • Affirmative


Subject + had + been + verb in Ing


I had been studying.


  • Negative


Subject + had not / hadn’t + been +verb in Ing


You hadn’t been eating.


  • Question


Had + subject + been +verb in Ing ?


Had they been running?

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