The Past Perfect Continuous Tense: Guide and Examples

Manuel Campos


The past perfect continuous or tense or past perfect progressive tense shows that an action that started in the past continued up until another time in the past. 

These are some examples of past perfect continuous sentences:

  • I had been writing articles on various topics for three hours.
  • He had been reading different kinds of books since morning.
  • They had been playing football in that field before it started to rain.

Continue reading to learn how to make past perfect continuous sentences correctly

Past Perfect Continuous: Positive Statements

The pattern to make questions with the present perfect continuous is the following:

Pronoun + had + been + verb + ing + predicate

  • I had been walking 
  • You had been sleeping
  • He had been running
  • She had been working for that company
  • We had been eating
  • They had been talking 

Present Perfect Continuous: Negative Statements

Pronoun + hadn’t + been + verb + ing + predicate

  • I hadn’t been walking
  • You hadn’t been sleeping
  • He hadn’t been running
  • She hadn’t been working for that company
  • We hadn’t been eating
  • They hadn’t been talking on the phone

Present Perfect Continuous: Questions

Had + pronoun + been + verb + ing + predicate + ?

  • Had I been walking?
  • Had you been sleeping?
  • Had you been running?
  • Had she been working for that company?
  • Had she been eating?
  • Had they been talking on the phone?

Present Perfect Continuous: Wh-Questions

Wh Question+ Had + pronoun + been + verb + ing + predicate + ?

  1. What had you been doing when you cut your finger?
  2. Which fax had you been trying to send when the power went off?
  3. How long had he been waiting?
  4. How long had you been waiting to get on the bus?
  5.  How long had you been studying French before you moved to Paris?
  6. Had you been waiting there for more than two hours

Past Perfect Continuous Examples

These are some past perfect continuous examples

  1. He had been practising the piano for hours when I arrived.
  2. We had been trying to open the door for five minutes when Erik found her key
  3. Her friends had been thinking of calling the police when she walked in.
  4. I had been studying at university for 6 months before I met her
  5. I put on weight because I had been eating too much
  6. We had been waiting for a long time when the bus finally came
  7. I’d been cleaning all day, so I was too tired to go out last night
  8. They had been talking for over an hour before Tony arrived.

Past Perfect Progressive: Worksheets

These are some past perfect progressive worksheets

Past Perfect Continuous Tense Video

This is a great video to understand past perfect continuous tense video

Learn More English

I hope that you have found everything about the past perfect continuous tense

Check these pages and sites before you go:

  1. Guía Sobre el Presente Perfecto en Inglés
  2. Acciones en Inglés: ¿Cómo Hablar de Ellas?
  3. Lista de 125 Conectores en Inglés
  4. Guía Completa del Presente Simple en Inglés
  5. Guía sobre el Pasado Continuo en Inglés
  6. Lista de Preposiciones en Inglés
  7. Verbo Modal: Would en Inglés
Manuel Campos, Docente de Inglés

About manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English

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