Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used to express certain verbal action has been in progress between two certain points of time in past.

Form of verb

Present Participle form is used in Past Perfect Tense. Since this form is used to indicate the verbal action in progress that’s why it is an appropriate form to be used in Perfect Continuous Tenses, which also indicate the continuity of verbal action.

  • Present Participle, 4th form (with all subjects)

Auxiliary
There is just one auxiliary (helping verbs) used in the Past Perfect Tense.

  • Had been (with all subjects)

Negative
When a sentence is converted into negative then not is used with the auxiliaries. You can use the short form too in which not is used with auxiliary as one word. Below are some examples to make you understand.

  • Had not been (hadn’t been in short)

Interrogative
While making interrogative the auxiliaries are used at the beginning of sentence.

  • Had used at the beginning of the sentence.

Examples

  1. I had been working here for two years. (Positive sentence)
  2. You had not been studying. (Negative sentence)
  3. Had they been playing? (Interrogative sentence)
  4. They had been enjoying the movie. (Positive sentence)
  5. Mary had not been attending the class for a week. (Positive sentence)

Since and for
There are the words since and for used in the Perfect Continuous Tenses. Their detail is as under.

Since
It is used with the point of time. It means whenever you talk about the starting time of any verbal action you have to use since.

Examples

  1. He hadn’t been feeling well since last Sunday.
  2. They had been running since four o’clock.
  3. I had been feeling suffering from head ache since morning.
  4. I had not been sleeping well since midnight.
  5. He had been enjoying riding since afternoon.

For
For is always used with the duration of the verbal action.

Examples

  1. They had been attending the lecture for one hour.
  2. He had been shopping in the market for two hours.
  3. You hadn’t been doing your job properly for the whole week.
  4. They had been studying Grammar for two months.
  5. He had been chasing the hunt for the whole night.