Time Past Perfect Continuous Tense — recent past, about which we will talk. In the Russian language its name can be translated as the past perfect for a long time. If you carefully read the articles about other British times, then deal with the Past Perfect Continuous will not be difficult.
As forms Past Perfect Continuous Tense
From the title it is clear that time Past Perfect Continuous Tense is formed by the auxiliary verb to be in time Past Perfect (had been) and the present participle formed from the verb meaning (ie, the infinitive of the verb + the ending — ing). This temporary form looks the same for all persons and numbers:
- I had been working.
- We had been working.
- You had been working.
- He (she, it) had been working.
- They had been working.
The interrogative form the first part of the auxiliary verb is carried forward:
- Had you been working?
- Had she been working?
In the negative form of particles not placed after the first part of the auxiliary verb:
- I had not been working.
- They had not been working.
As an abbreviated form used ‘d and had not:
- We’d been working.
- Had not he been working?
When the Past Perfect Continuous Tense: examples of proposals
At the time, Past Perfect Continuous Tense only two functions, and the situation in which is used this time, strictly limited context. Ie usually in the proposals this time, or clearly specified time when the action takes place, or immediately clear from the context.
Use of Past Perfect Continuous, example sentences:
- Time Past Perfect Continuous sends a long operation, which started until a certain point in the past and continued at this point. The proposal is usually specified duration (using word-pointer for) or the beginning of a long-acting (with the help of word-clues since). Also, the time in the past very often represents a different action:
She had been cooking for an hour when I came. — She cooked for an hour when I arrived. (and continue to cook)
She had been training for a few months and was very fit when I met her. — When I met her, she trained for several months and was in great shape.
Her husband had been fixing the car since the early morning and she decided to bring him some food. — Her husband was repairing the car in the morning, and she decided to bring him something to eat.
They had been building their own house for the last 2 years and it was almost ready when we met. — They built their own house the past two years, and he was almost ready when we met.
Past Perfect for a long time is not used with verbs of state and is rare in negative sentences. In both cases, it replaces time Past Perfect. As for the dynamic verbs, transmitting long-term effect (to live, to work, to study, to travel, to last and so forth.), Both times can be used with a small semantic difference:
Past Perfect is used to simply tell a fact:
He suddenly realized he had travelled for a year already. — He suddenly realized that traveled for a year.
Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used to emphasize the duration of the process:
He suddenly realized he had been travelling for a year already without seeing his relatives. — He suddenly realized that a year traveling and had not seen their relatives.
Time Past Perfect Continuous often confused with other past tense — Past Continuous. Both express the long time operation in the past, the only difference is that indicated whether, how long it took place. If the duration is not specified, select the past for a long time:
I was talking on the phone when he entered the room. — I was on the phone when he entered the room.
If the duration is specified, select the Past Perfect Continuous:
I had been talking on the phone for half an hour when he entered the room. — I was on the phone for half an hour, when he entered the room.
Duration of action shows us that during this time has achieved some results, and this is the essence of any perfect time.
- Time Past Perfect Continuous is used to express a long-acting, which began to a certain point (or activities) in the past and finished in front of him. As a rule, the result of this operation anyway affect the said point in the past. In this case, the index duration of action is not always present in the sentence.
They had been discussing some important matters and he looked upset after that conversation. — They discussed some important issues, and after the conversation he looked upset.
It had been snowing the whole night and the road was very slippery when I started my way. — All night it was snowing and the road was very slippery when I hit the road.
They had been walking in the forest and came back in a very good mood. — They were walking in the forest and returned home in high spirits.
Time Past Perfect Continuous, like all the past tenses of the English language has a few features, and it can only be used in a particular context. You will never confuse the British times, remember if all cases of their use. Good luck, and do not forget to exercise!
This topic is closely related to the other as described in the articles that need to pay attention:
- «Elapsed time in the English language»
- «Time Past Simple (simple past tense)»
- «Time Past Continuous (Past a long time)»
- «Time Past Perfect (Past perfect tense)»
After reading them, we recommend to pass the following test: «test group times Past».