Structure of Past Perfect Continuous Tense

This post includes detailed expressions about Past Perfect Continuous tense and its structures in english. Please follow the list about Structure of Past Perfect Continuous Tense;

The tenses simply show the time of an action.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense indicates a past action which started in the past and continued to happen after another action and time in the past. Namely, Past Perfect Continuous Tense tell us “how long the action had continued”. ” the duration of the action”  is emphasized more in this tense.

The Structures of  Past Perfect Continuous/Progressive Tense


  • Subject + HAD + BEEN + Ving


  • Subject + HAD + NOT + BEEN + Ving


  • HAD+ Subject + BEEN + Ving

I had been starting I had not (hadn’t) been starting Had I been starting
You had been starting You had not (hadn’t) been starting Had you been starting
He had been starting He had not (hadn’t) been starting Had she been starting
She had been starting She had not (hadn’t) been starting Had he been starting
It had been starting It had not (hadn’t) been starting Had it been starting
We had been starting We had not (hadn’t) been starting Had we been starting
You had been starting You had not (hadn’t) been starting Had you been starting
They had been starting They had not (hadn’t) been starting Had they been starting

Positive Sentences ( Sbj + HAD+ BEEN + Ving )


  • When her husband came home, the woman had been cleaning the house for hours.
  • The ground was covered with snow. It had been snowing heavy for several hours.
  • They had been being friend since childhood.
  • Thomas had been trying to repair the phone the whole day.
  • We had been studying all day so we tired.
  • Helen had been listening the same music for 4 hours when I came back home.
  • Daniel had been watching TV for hours before he slept.
  • You had been walking all afternoon on the beach. 

Negative Sentences ( Sbj + HAD + NOT + BEEN + Ving )


  • I had not (hadn’t) been waiting for Sarah for 40 minutes before she called me.
  • My daughter had not (hadn’t) been eating anything all day.
  • She had not (hadn’t) been working all day so she was energetic.
  • He had not (hadn’t) been reading a book.
  • I had not (hadn’t) been cooking any meal when she came to my home.
  • You had not (hadn’t) been studying English all day.
  • The actor had not (hadn’t) been working since morning.
  • The teacher had not (hadn’t) been showing us a video when the bell rang.

Question Sentences ( HAD + Sbj + BEEN + Ving )


  • Had they been running for several minutes when the teacher came?
  • Had you been studying English since 3 o’clock?
  • Had we been waiting for Sarah for 40 minutes before she called us?
  • Had her daughter been eating anything all day?
  • Had she been working all day?
  • Had he been reading a book?
  • Had he been cooking any meal when she came to my home?
  • Had you been studying English all day?
  • Had the actor been working since morning?
  • Had the teacher been showing them a video when the bell rang?