Past Perfect Continuous Tense (Formula, Examples & Exercises)

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Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used to express the action that started in the past and continued in the past for some time. It is also called Past Perfect Progressive Tense.

Signal Words

  • for two hours,
  • for ________
  • All day
  • since morning,
  • since ______

Structure / Formula

Subject + had + been + Base form(+ing) + object + time reference

SubjectAuxiliary verbAuxiliary verbBase form of

Positive Sentences

To make the positive sentences, we use this structure,

Subject + had + been + Base form(+ing) + object + time reference

Examples of positive sentences

  • He had been playing football for two hours.
  • The child had been studying since morning.
  • She had been drafting the plan for a meeting for two hours.
  • had been playing my favorite game.
  • They had been working in this office since last year.

Negative Sentences

To make the sentence negative, we add ‘not’ after the auxiliary verb.

Subject + had + not + been + Base form(+ing) + object + TR

Examples of negative sentences.

  • The mechanic had not been fixing my bike since morning.
  • He had not been reading his favorite book.
  • She had not been planting for three hours.
  • had not been traveling.

Question Sentences

Auxiliary verb ‘had’ come at the start of the sentence and question mark at the end.

Had + subject+ been + Base form(+ing) + object + T.R. +?

Examples of question sentences.

  • Had he been studying book since morning?
  • Had she been planting for two hours?
  • Had they been traveling for two days?
  • Had he been smoking since 1991?
Past Perfect Continuous Tense


Emphasis on duration of action or task that finished in pasthad been learning French for two years before I went to college.
Time expressions (since, for, lately, how long)He had been drafting a plan for two days before the meeting.


  1. He (not, bath) in the rain since morning.
  2. He (write) an interesting essay.
  3. I (take) the dose of medicine for two days.
  4. The farmer (plant) since morning.
  5. I (learn) English.
  6. The child (week) bitterly for one hour.
  7. Rita (drive) the black car for five years.
  8. The children (watch) the TV all day long.
  9. John (smoke) for five years.
  10. The mechanic (fix) my bike since morning.
  11. I (plan) my holidays for one week.
  12. He (obey) the orders of his boss.


  1. He had not been bathing in the rain since morning.
  2. He had been writing an interesting essay.
  3. had been taking the dose of medicine for two days.
  4. The farmer had been planting since morning.
  5. had been learning English.
  6. The child had been weeping bitterly for one hour.
  7. Rita had been driving the black car for five years.
  8. The children had been watching the TV all day long.
  9. John had been smoking for five years.
  10. The mechanic had been fixing my bike since morning.
  11. had been planning my holidays for one week.
  12. He had been obeying the orders of his boss.

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