Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Past Perfect Continuous Tense :

Read the following paragraph.

Mother was angry because the children had not been doing their work at all. They had been playing all afternoon. She had been waiting for them to clear up their room but none of them had been showing any signs of remembering their promise to her. Mother had been cooking the whole morning and was quite tired by the time the children entered the house. Little did the children know that a storm had been brewing in the house and was about to break on their sweaty heads!

All the words that are in bold are in the past perfect continuous tense.

The past perfect continuous tense is used when we are talking about an action that began before a definite moment in the past, continued up to that moment and was still in progress at that moment.

In the given paragraph, mother was angry at a specific moment in the past. The children had begun playing prior to mother getting angry. They had continued playing and were playing till the time mother got angry.

Examples :

1. Lata Mangeshkar had been singing for Hindi films for many years before she decided to retire.

2. We had been visiting the temple throughout our childhood years.

3. Krishna had been looking after his parents till his elder brother returned from New Zealand.

4. The birds had been migrating to this village till the new factory was set up.

5. The Mughals had been ruling northern India till the British came.

6. Gulshan had been living with his grandparents till his parents got settled in the city.

7. The spider had been trying to climb the water pipe the whole afternoon.

8. This film star had been acting in all the prominent films till his own brother became more popular.

9. The beaver had been building a dam all through the season. So it was quite annoying to see it broke by the naughty boys.

10. The workers had been laying the railroad when they found the ancient bricks of the Harappan age.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

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