English Grammar – Past perfect continuous with 57 EX

The past perfect continuous is a verb tense which is used to show that an action started in the past and continued up to another point in the past.

This video is all about past perfect continuous topic but we also try to cover the subjects:

  • When to use the past perfect continuous?
  • Keywords
  • Positive form
  • Negative form
  • Question form
  • WH Question form
  • AND 57 sentences about past perfect continuous

When to use the past perfect continuous?

  • In a past tense narrative, to describe a continuing action in a period of time before something else happened.
  • To explain a past situation, by describing the events happening before.
  • Reported speech.

Past perfect continuous Keywords

For, since, when, how long, before.

Past perfect continuous Positive form

Subject + had been + base verb with ing  + complement.


  • I had been = I’d been
  • You had been = we’d been
  • We had been = you’d been
  • They had been = they’d been
  • He had been = he’d been
  • She had been = she’d been

Past perfect continuous Examples:

  • I had been working all day.
  • It had been snowing all week.
  • We had been going to the gym regularly.
  • He was tired because he had been studying.
  • Jameel was out of breath. He had been running.
  • We had been playing tennis before it started to rain.
  • The sun was shining. But it had been raining before.
  • The roads are still wet, it had been raining for hours.
  • I had been living in UAE before I came to Saudi Arabia.
  • At last the bus came. I had been waiting for 20 minutes.
  • I was angry, because I had been waiting for her for 3 hours.
  • By the time the bus arrived, we had been waiting for an hour.
  • They had been talking for over an hour before Sam arrived.
  • I was very tired when I got home. I had been working hard all day.
  • Anna returned from France, where she had been studying French.
  • We had been playing football for half an hour when it started to rain.
  • I had been sleeping for three hours before the alarm clock went off.
  • Both boys were wet and muddy They had been playing football in the rain.
  • We’d been playing tennis for about half an hour when it started to rain heavily.
  • At the time the factory closed down, Sarah had been working there for five years.
  • I had been waiting for 20 minutes when I realised that I was in the wrong restaurant.
  • Katherine was sitting in an armchair resting. She was tired because she’d been working very hard.
  • The two boys came into the house. They had been playing a football and they were both very tired.
  • Sami had been teaching at the university for more than a year before he left for London.
  • I had been walking along the road for about ten minutes when a car suddenly stopped just behind me.
  • It wasn’t raining when we went out. The sun was shining. But it had been raining, so the ground was wet.
  • They were very cold, because it had been snowing heavily since mid-morning, and one of them had hurt his ankle.
  • They spent a long time searching for the cave before they realized that they had been heading in the wrong direction.
  • The two climbers stopped to rest. They had been climbing for hours and were exhausted. Things were not looking good.
  • They had been looking for shelter for the past two hours, because they realized that the weather was going to get worse.
  • When the boys came into the house, their clothes were dirty, their hair was untidy and one of them had a black eye. They had been fighting.

Past perfect continuous Negative form

Subject + had not been + base verb with ing + complement.


Had not been = hadn’t been.

PPC Negative form Examples

  • He had not been exercising regularly.
  • My mother hadn’t been sleeping well.
  • We hadn’t been checking our voicemail.
  • I had not been working for a day before I quit.
  • I had not been snowing for long when it stopped.
  • She had not been studying for long when she fell asleep.
  • You had not been cutting onions for long before you cried.
  • I hadn’t been paying attention at classes, so I failed in the course.
  • James failed the final test because he had not been attending class.
  • Paul went to the doctor last Friday. He hadn’t been feeling well for some time.
  • You had not been waiting there for more than 3 hours when he finally arrived.
  • When I went to Madrid a few years ago, I stayed with a friend of mine. She hadn’t been living there very long, but she knew the city very well.

Past perfect continuous Question form

Had + subject + been + base verb with ing + complement + ?

Short answer:

Yes, he had.
No, he had not. Or, No, he hadn’t

Past perfect continuous Question form Examples:

  • Had you been waiting for a long time? Yes, I had.
  • Had you been planning to study this tense today? No, I had not.
  • Had she been considering that offer? Yes, she had.
  • Had they been planning a trip? Yes, they had.
  • Had she been feeling unwell? No, she hadn’t.
  • Had you been texting each other? Yes, we had.
  • Had he been driving all day before he arrived? Yes, he had.
  • Had the dog been barking because it was scared? No, it hadn’t.
  • Had you been working there before you left UAE? Yes, I had.

Past perfect continuous WH Question form

WH + Had + subject + been + base verb with ing + complement.

Past perfect continuous WH Question form Examples:

  • Why had you been studying so much?
    I had been studying so much because I have a test.
  • Where had you been traveling before you came here?
    I have been traveling to Turkey.
  • What had they been playing before they played soccer?
    They had been playing basketball.
  • Who had she been talking to before she left home?
    She had been talking to her husband.
  • How long had you been studying Spanish before you moved to Madrid?
    I had not been studying Spanish very long.

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