Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Past Perfect Progressive tense is used to describe an ongoing action that started in past and continued for some time in past. It expresses continued nature of an action that started and stopped at some point in the past. The sentence includes a ‘time-reference’ to show that when the action started in past or for how long the action was continued in past.

For time-reference of the action, two specific words ‘since’ and ‘for’ are used in the sentence. The word ‘since’ is used if the exact starting time (e.g. Friday, since 10 A.M) of the action is known or intended to be shown in the sentence. The word ‘for’ is used to express the amount of time (e.g. for five hours, for nine months) for which the action was continued.

Structure of Sentence:

Main Verb: Present Participle (base form verb + ing) e.g. waiting, drinking, looking.
Auxiliary verbs: Had Been


 Subject + Auxiliary verb + Main Verb + Object + time-reference
 Subject + Had been + Present Participle (base form of verb + ing) + Object + Time-reference

She had been watching the movie for two hours.
She had been studying in that university since 2008.
They were playing football since 10 O’clock.
He had been working for a Newspaper for five years.
They had been running their business since 1987.
She had been waiting for you since Wednesday.
They had been studying for exam for three months.
She had been teaching student since 23rd July 2006.
I had been applying for jobs since December 2012.
She has been trying to qualify her exams since 15th March 2009.


 Subject + Auxiliary verb + Main Verb + Object + time-reference
 Subject + Had not been + Present Participle + Object + Time-reference

They had not been doing their work since 2003.
He had not been eating vegetables for three years.
She had not been cleaning her home since January 2013.
Kid had not been drinking milk for five months.
He had not taking medicine for six months.
I had not been listening to music since Thursday.
She had not been trying to get job since 2001.
You had not been reading this book for ten months.
He had not been playing chess since 4 O’clock?
The boys had not been watching television for three weeks.


 Had + Subject + Been + Present Participle + Object + Time-reference

Had they been working on their project since 2005?
Had she been waiting for her husband for one year?
Had he been eating vegetable for seven months?
Had he been using the same car since 2004?
Had I been using my camera since 15th September, 2009?
Had you been helping your parent for two years?
Had we been going to school since 10th May, 1995?
Had the kid been watching cartoon for eight days?
Had the baby been crying for one hour?
Had she been singing songs since 8 O'Clock?
Had he been working in a hospital since 2001?
Had they been playing football for five hours?