Past Perfect Continuous Diagram
We use the Past Perfect Continuous to talk about how long something had been happening before something else happened.
We use the Past Perfect Continuous when we are talking about the cause of an action that happened in the past.
We use the Past Perfect Continuous when we are talking about activities which started in the past and they are still going on.
We use the Past Perfect Continuous when we are talking about activities which started in the past and they have just finished.
for, since, whole, all
+ time period
Past Perfect Continuous Use
The Past Perfect Continuous isn’t the most common tense, but it’s still useful to know. The Past Perfect Continuous is also called the Past Perfect Progressive.
- Something that started in the past and continued up to another action or even (‘tells us how long’)
- She had been working at that company for a year when she met James. (This tells us how long something had continued before another event in the past. We usually use ‘for or ‘since’ in the same way as we do with the Present Perfect Continuous)
- Cause of something in the past
- She pavement was wet, it had been raining. (It was raining before the time I am describing in the past. We could see the result of the rain – compare with Present Perfect Continuous)
- Used in Conditionals
- If he had been working hard, he wouldn’t have had any financial problems.
- Used in Reported Speech
- He said he had been working very hard.