Past Perfect Continuous Tense

past perfect continuous tense

What is It?

The past perfect continuous is had been + a verb in passive voice (past particle).

When to Use?



*Show that something started in the past and ended before the present time.1. They had been playing chess for two hours before Michael came home.2. He had been working at the company for ten years before he got fired.
*Show cause and effect (one thing leads to another).1. Klaus was super tired because he had been jogging for the past five hours.2. Sam gained 200 pounds, as he had been eating 5,000 donuts every day for the last two months.


Non-continuous verbs, or actions that you usually can’t see someone doing, cannot be used in any continuous tense.


to be, to want, to seem…

Possession Verbs:

to own, to belong, to have possession of…

Emotion Verbs:

to love, to hate, to fear…

Also, one has to be careful when using mixed verbs, or verbs that can have several meanings, in this tense.


to weigh, to see, to feel…


Need Help?

Comment/Ask an Expert


or login with

Register | Lost your password?