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Past perfect continuous

Past perfect continuous 

Past perfect continuous tense

Example: My father had been working for this multinational company for 20 years.


subject + had been + verb + ing


1. We use past perfect continuous to show that an action started in the past and continued up until another action took place.


  1. They had been playing football when George broke his leg.
  2. We had been watching a movie when the light went out.


2. Past perfect continuous tense is used to explain why an action or feeling occurred.


  1. I was very tired. I had been revising for the exam for more than four hours.
  2. He put on weight because he had been overeating.


3. We use past perfect continuous to talk about the duration of an activity which continued up to a specified point in the past.


  1. I had been learning Chinese for 6 months before I moved to Beijing.
  2. My dad had been working for 30 years when he retired.

Check the uses of the past perfect simple here.

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