Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Past Perfect Continuous Tense Definition and Examples

Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used to describe an action or event which had occurred in the past and had continued for a specified time or period. There are two words used for the reference of time- ‘since’ and ‘for’. ‘Since’ is used when the exact time is specified or has a specific start time  like- since morning, since 10 A.M., since yesterday etc. ‘For’ on the other hand is used to refer to a period of time, like- for five hours, for a month, for two weeks etc.

Carefully read the following sentences-

  • He had been working here for two years.
  • She had been waiting for you since morning.
  • We had been waiting for the train for whole night.
  • Children had been in the garden since morning.
  • I had been requesting a raise since 2009.
  • She had been looking for a house since 2017.

The above sentences are Past Perfect Continuous Tense in positive form. Now, go through the following sentences written in negative form-

  • He had not been working here for two years.
  • She had not been waiting for you since morning.
  • We had not been waiting for the train for whole night.
  • Children had not been in the garden since morning.
  • I had not been requesting a raise since 2009.
  • She had not been looking for a house since 2017.

Some interrogative sentences for your reference-

  • Had he been working here for two years?
  • Had she been waiting for you since morning?
  • Had we been waiting for the train for whole night?
  • Had children been in the garden since morning?
  • Had she not been looking for a house since 2017?

Till now you might have well understood the formation of positive, negative and interrogative sentences in Past Perfect Continuous form with the help of examples given above; we will go through each one of them individually and understand their formation with help of Structure/Formula and rules as well as by solving exercises.

a) Positive Sentences

Structure/Formula for Positive Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous Form

The Structure/Formula for Positive Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous form is –

  • (Subject + Auxiliary verb + Main Verb + Object + Time Reference)
  • (Subject + had been + Present Participle + Object + Time Reference)

Rules for Positive Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous Form

Irrespective of the subject there is only one auxiliary verb used – i.e. ‘had been’ following immediately after the subject. Present Participle form of verb is used to represent an event in Past Perfect Continuous form. To make it simple- ‘ing’ from of verb is used like- dancing, walking, going, sleeping etc. If the time specifies the beginning of the event then ‘since’ is used and if it just refers to a certain period of time then ‘for’ is used. Below given are few examples of Positive Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous form-

 

  • He had been sleeping since yesterday evening.
  • She had been in the kitchen for two hours.
  • He had been exercising since 6:00 in the morning.
  • They had been looking for a house since Jan 2018.
  • We had been staying together for six months.
  • I had been calling my parents since morning.
  • They had been practicing golf for two years.
  • He had been writing for six hours.
  • She had been calling you since evening.
  • Children had been requesting for clean toilet for a year.

Note- Interestingly, the above positive sentences can be converted into interrogative sentences by simply interchanging the places of ‘had’ and the ‘subject’ as demonstrated in examples given below-

  • Had he been sleeping since yesterday evening?
  • Had she been in the kitchen for two hours?
  • Had he been exercising since 6:00 in the morning?
  • Had they been looking for a house since Jan 2018?
  • Had we been staying together for six months?

We will study Interrogative Sentences separately in an exercise.

Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Positive Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous Form

Fill in the Blanks Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Positive Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous Form:

Complete the following sentences with suitable words so as to make Positive sentences in Past Perfect Continuous form. Cross check your answers with the answers provided at the end of the exercise. Take the help of the verb hints wherever provided.

1) We had __________ waiting for the bus for three hours.

2) They _________ been doing this __________ decades.

3) People had been waiting for their turn __________ morning.

4) I had been ____________ golf ____________ childhood. (play)

5) He had been ____________ the same bike ____________ ten years. (ride)

6) She ________ been using the same pen ________ six months.

 

7) She had been _____________ for the exams ______________ morning. (prepare)

8) Children had been requesting for picnic _________ last year.

9) The machine ________ been working good __________ its last repair.

10) Students had been listening patiently __________ three hours.

11) They had been playing chess ____________ 7 P.M.

12) She had been missing you ___________ five years.

13) I had ___________ waiting for you ___________ afternoon.

14) She had been working as a teacher ___________ twelve years.

15) They had been _____________ a raise ____________ two years. (demand)

16) The monument had been ___________ there ____________ centuries. (stand)

17) Humans had been taming animals _________ ages.

18) We had been driving _________ dawn.

19) She had been nervous _________ the declaration of results.

20) He had been ____________ for his friends since morning. (wait)

Answers- 1)been, 2)had, for, 3)since, 4)playing ,since, 5)riding, for, 6)had, for, 7)preparing, since, 8)since, 9)had, since, 10)for, 11)since, 12)for, 13)been, since, 14)for, 15)demanding, for, 16)standing, for, 17)for, 18)since, 19)since, 20)waiting

MCQs Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Positive Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous Form:

Choose the correct word from the choices given below so as to make a positive sentence in Past Perfect Continuous form. Check your answers with that provided at the end of the exercise.

1) She had been waiting ________ morning.

  1. a) for
  2. b) till
  3. c) since

2) He had been ____________ here for ten years.

  1. a) worked
  2. b) working
  3. c) works

3) The family ___________ been living in the same house __________ decades.

  1. a) have, since
  2. b) had, till
  3. c) had, for

4) She had been cooking food ___________ evening.

  1. a) since
  2. b) from
  3. c) for

5) The dog had been barking ___________ many nights.

  1. a) from
  2. b) for
  3. c) since

6) She ________ been crying __________ hours.

  1. a) had, since
  2. b) has, for
  3. c) had, for

7) He had been _________ since ___________.

  1. a) studying, morning
  2. b) studying , five hours
  3. c) study, afternoon

8) They had been witnessing oppression ___________ decades.

  1. a) since
  2. b) for
  3. c) till

9) He ________ been drawing for a comic series _________ five years.

  1. a) has, for
  2. b) had, since
  3. c) had, for

10) She had been swimming ___________ childhood.

  1. a) since
  2. b) for
  3. c) from

11) He had been teaching in the college ___________ January 23rd.

  1. a) for
  2. b) from
  3. c) since

12) He had been driving ___________ ten years.

  1. a) for
  2. b) since
  3. c) from

13) They had been ___________ since 1985.

  1. a) worked
  2. b) working
  3. c) works

14) He had been jogging _________ hours.

  1. a) for
  2. b) since
  3. c) till

15) They had been __________ for the bus since morning.

  1. a) waited
  2. b) waits
  3. c) waiting

16) I had been sitting here ____________ five hours.

  1. a) for
  2. b) since
  3. c) from

17) He _________ been reading the same book for eight months.

  1. a) has
  2. b) have
  3. c) had

18) He had been walking _________ two hours.

  1. a) from
  2. b) for
  3. c) since

19) She had been ___________ song since 5 A.M.

  1. a) sing
  2. b) sang
  3. c) singing

20) Devotees had been coming __________ morning.

  1. a) for
  2. b) since
  3. c) from

21) The man had been ___________ for you since morning.

  1. a) waited
  2. b) waits
  3. c) waiting

Answers-  1)c, 2)b, 3)c, 4)a, 5)b, 6)c, 7)a, 8)b, 9)c, 10)a, 11)c, 12)a, 13)b, 14)a, 15)c, 16)a, 17)c, 18)b, 19)c, 20)b, 21)c

True or False Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Positive Past Perfect Continuous Tense:

Determine whether the following sentences are true or false and also verify you answer with those provided at the end of the exercise.

1) I had been working here since last year.

2) She has been waiting for you since morning.

3) It had been working since decades.

4) They are been waiting for two hours.

5) We had been eating since morning.

6) Dog has been roaming since two days.

7) Bird had been flying for ten days.

8) Woman had complaining for yesterday.

9) Children had been playing since morning.

10) He had being reading a book since hours.

11) Fence had been protecting the crops for years.

12) I has been drink milk since childhood.

13) She had been singing since morning.

14) He had been dancing for two years.

15) They had been checked the accounts for a week.

Answers- 1)True, 2)False, 3)False, 4)False, 5)True, 6)False, 7)True, 8)False, 9)True, 10)False, 11)True, 12)False, 13)True, 14)True, 15)False

Crosscheck your answers with the corrected sentences given below:

2) She had been waiting for you since morning.

3) It had been working here for decades.

4) They had been waiting for two hours.

6) Dog had been roaming for two days.

8) Woman had been complaining since yesterday.

10) He had been reading a book for hours.

12) I had been drinking milk since childhood.

15) They had been checking the accounts for a week.

b) Negative Sentences

Structure/Formula for Negative Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous Form

The Structure/Formula for Negative Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous form is –

  • (Subject + had not been + Main Verb + Object + Time frame)
  • (Subject + had not been + Present Participle + Object + Time Frame)

Rules for Negative Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous Form

To make the sentence negative ‘had been’ is replaced by ‘had not been’. Everything else remains same as in positive sentences i.e. Main Verb used should be present participle (‘ing’ form) followed respectively by the Object and Time frame. Inserting a ‘not’ simply negates any affirmative sentence thereby making the sentence ‘negative’.

Go through some of the examples of Negative sentences in Past Perfect Continuous form-

  • He had not been calling you for five months.
  • She had not been working here since December’16.
  • He had not been studying since 9 A.M.
  • It had not been responding for two hours.
  • We had not been getting allowances for six months.
  • We had not been staying together for six months.
  • They had not been practicing golf for two years.
  • He had not been writing for six hours.
  • She had not been calling you since evening.
  • She had not been in the kitchen for two hours.

c) Negative-Interrogative Sentences

There are few minor changes/additions that could be done in the Negative Sentences to make them Interrogative-Negative by prefixing a question word and also by inter-replacing ‘had’ with the ‘subject’ as described below-

1) By Adding Question Words- ‘Why’, ‘How’ etc

The Negative Sentences in Past Perfect Form may be transformed into Negative-Interrogative Sentences by simply prefixing a suitable question word as shown in the examples below-

  • Why he had not been calling you for five months?
  • Why she had not been studying since 9 A.M.?
  • Why he had not been writing for six hours?
  • How she had not been missing the same bus for five years?
  • How we had not been committing any mistake for six months?

The above sentences may also be written in another form making no difference in their forms (Negative, Interrogative and Past Perfect Continuous) as shown below-

  • Why had he not been calling you for five months?
  • Why had she not been studying since 9 A.M.?
  • Why had he not been writing for six hours?
  • How had she not been missing the same bus for five years?
  • How had we not been committing any mistake for six months?

2) By Inter-Replacing ‘had’ with the ‘Subject’

Negative sentences can also be converted into Negative- Interrogative sentences by interchanging the places of ‘had’ and ‘subject’ as shown in the examples below-

  • He had not been calling you for five months. (Negative)
  • Had he not been calling you for five months? (Negative-Interrogative)
  • She had not been studying since 9 A.M. (Negative)
  • Had she not been studying since 9 A.M. (Negative-Interrogative)
  • It had not been responding for two hours. (Negative)
  • Had it not been responding for two hours? (Negative-Interrogative)
  • They had not been playing for two months. (Negative)
  • Had they not been playing for two months? (Negative-Interrogative)
  • She had not been calling me since yesterday. (Negative)
  • Had she not been calling me since yesterday? (Negative-Interrogative)

Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Negative Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Fill in the Blanks Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Negative Past Perfect Tense Sentences:

Complete the below sentences with proper words so as to make them Negative Sentences in Past Perfect Tense. Take the help of the verb hints wherever provided.

1) They had _________ been working since 2016.

2) She had not _________ eating fruits for three months.

3) He had not been looking at me __________ morning.

4) They had __________ been responding _________ the first lecture.

5) I _________ not been eating _________ two days.

6) She had not been looking for a job ________ 2016.

7) It had not been working properly _________ morning.

8) They ________ not been ___________ there for six years. (live)

9) You had not been replying ___________ yesterday.

10) We had __________ been going there ___________ two years.

11) He had not been playing cricket __________ 9 A.M.

12) She had not been studying __________ two months.

13) He had not been working here __________ six months.

14) We had _________ been reporting the fraud ___________ last year.

15) Teachers had not been teaching ___________ morning.

16) Birds had not been chirping ____________ yesterday.

17) Father had not been taking medicines __________ five days.

18) Boys had _________ been making noise __________ a week.

19) The principal had not been roaming _________ afternoon.

20) He had not been a monitor _________ two years.

Answers- 1)not, 2)been, 3)since, 4)not, since, 5)had, for, 6)since, 7)since, 8)had, living, 9)since, 10)not, for, 11)since, 12)for, 13)for, 14)not, since, 15)since, 16)since, 17)for, 18)not, for, 19)since, 20)for

MCQs Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Negative Past Perfect Continuous Tense:

Choose the correct word from the choices given below so as to make a Negative Sentence in Past Perfect Continuous form. Check your answers with that provided at the end of the exercise.

1) I had _________ been waiting since morning.

  1. a) not
  2. b) never
  3. c) always

2) She had not been _________ since morning.

  1. a) cry
  2. b) cried
  3. c) crying

3) they had not ____________ reporting for two weeks.

  1. a) being
  2. b) been
  3. c) be

4) We had not been going __________ yesterday.

  1. a) since
  2. b) for
  3. c) before

5) She had not been working ___________ two years.

  1. a) since
  2. b) for
  3. c) after

6) He had __________ been playing _____________ six months.

  1. a) not, since
  2. b) never, for
  3. c) not, for

7) They had not _________ sleeping for two days.

  1. a) been
  2. b) being
  3. c) have

8) She had not been ___________ about the food since 2017.

  1. a) complain
  2. b) complaining
  3. c) complained

9) They had not been __________ their grandparents for five years.

  1. a) visit
  2. b) visited
  3. c) visiting

10) They had not been living here ____________ 2009.

  1. a) hence
  2. b) for
  3. c) since

11) She had not been attending class ___________ two weeks.

  1. a) since
  2. b) for
  3. c) from

12) We had not been ___________ for him since last summer.

  1. a) looking
  2. b) looked
  3. c) looks

13) He had ________ been behaving properly ___________ afternoon.

  1. a) never, from
  2. b) not, for
  3. c) not, since

14) She had not been living here ____________ five years.

  1. a) for
  2. b) since
  3. c) from

15)  He had not been driving __________his last birth day.

  1. a) since
  2. b) for
  3. c) from

16) I had not been calling her _________ yesterday.

  1. a) hence
  2. b) since
  3. c) for

17) We had not been attending college ___________ three days.

  1. a) since
  2. b) hence
  3. c) for

18) He had not been ____________ cricket since 2015.

  1. a) played
  2. b) playing
  3. c) plays

19) She had not been speaking __________ morning.

  1. a) hence
  2. b) for
  3. c) since

20) I had not been calling her ________ two weeks.

  1. a) since
  2. b) for
  3. c) hence

Answers- 1)a, 2)c, 3)b, 4)a, 5)b, 6)c, 7)a, 8)b, 9)c, 10)c, 11)b, 12)a, 13)c, 14)a, 15)a, 16)b, 17)c, 18)b, 19)c, 20)b

True or False Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Negative Past Perfect Continuous Tense Sentences:

Determine whether the following sentences are true or false and also verify you answer with those provided at the end of the exercise.

1) She has not been complaining since yesterday.

2) He had not been waiting since yesterday.

3) He had not been eated since morning.

4) They had not been playing for two weeks.

5) We had not drinking coffee since three weeks.

6) They had not been living here for six months.

7) People had not been dancing for two weeks.

8) I had not been singing since two months.

9) She had not been studying for two days.

10) They had not been cycling since three hours.

11) He had not been listening since two hours.

12) She had not been waiting for years.

13) You had not been looking active for morning.

14) People had not been walking since evening.

15) I had not been studying since yesterday.

Answers- 1)False,2)True,3)False, 4)True,5)False,6)True,7)True,8)False,9)True,10)False, 11)False, 12)True, 13)False, 14)True, 15)True

Crosscheck your answers with the corrected sentences provided below:

1) She had not been complaining since yesterday.

3) He had not been eating since morning.

5) We had not been drinking coffee for three weeks.

8) I had not been singing for two months.

10) They had not been cycling for three hours.

11) He had not been listening for two hours.

13) You had not been looking active since morning.

d) Interrogative Sentences

Structure/Formula

The Structure/Formula for Interrogative Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous form is-

  • (Had + Subject + been + Main verb + Object + Time Reference)
  • (Had + Subject + been + Present Participle + Object + Time Reference)

Rules for Interrogative Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous Form:

The interrogative sentence starts with ‘Had’ followed by the subject and then ‘been’. The Present Participle form of the verb is used as in the Positive and Negative sentences. Subject is wedged between ‘Had’ and ‘been’.

Following are examples of Interrogative Past Perfect Continuous Sentences-

  • Had he been calling you for five months?
  • Had she been working here since December’16?
  • Had he been studying since 9 A.M?
  • Had it been responding for two hours?
  • Had we been getting allowances for six months?
  • Had we been staying together for six months?
  • Had they been practicing golf for two years?
  • Had he been writing for six hours?
  • Had she been calling you since evening?
  • Had she been in the kitchen for two hours?

Question words like- ‘why’ and ‘how’ can be prefixed to the Interrogative sentences without changing any of their qualities-

  • Why had he been calling you for five months?
  • How had he been studying since 9 A.M.?
  • How had it been responding for two hours?
  • How had he been writing for six hours?
  • Why had she been calling you since evening?

e) Interrogative-Negative Sentences

Interrogative Sentences may also be converted into Interrogative-Negative sentences by simply inserting ‘not’ between the ‘Subject’ and ‘been’ as given below-

  • Had he been calling you for five months? (Interrogative)
  • Had he not been calling you for five months? (Interrogative-Negative)
  • Had she been working here since December’16? (Interrogative)
  • Had she not been working here since December’16? (Interrogative-Negative)
  • Had he been studying since 9 A.M? (Interrogative)
  • Had she not been studying since 9 A.M.? (Interrogative-Negative)
  • Had it been responding for two hours? (Interrogative)
  • Had it not been responding for two hours? (Interrogative-Negative)
  • Had we been getting allowances for six months? (Interrogative)
  • Had we not been getting allowances for six months? (Interrogative-Negative)
  • Had we been staying together for six months? ( Interrogative)
  • Had we not been staying together for six months? (Interrogative-Negative)

Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Interrogative Past Perfect Continuous Sentences

Fill in the Blanks Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Interrogative Past Perfect Continuous Tenses:

Complete the below sentences with proper words so as to make them Interrogative Sentences in Past Perfect Continuous Tense. Take the help of the verb hints wherever provided.

1) ________ he been singing for six years?

2) Had she been cooking ________ evening?

3) Had he ________ studying since morning?

4) Had it been responding _________ three hours?

5) Had they been getting allowances ___________ 2017?

6) Had he been _________ to the lectures ___________ morning? (listen)

7) Had she ________ looking for him since yesterday.

8) Had they been thinking about you _________ morning?

9) Had it been working fine __________ three weeks?

10) Had she _________ living alone for three years?

11) Had he been walking __________ dawn?

12) Had she been crying ________ two days?

13) Had we been roaming _________ few weeks?

14) Had it _________ losing its color _________ morning?

15) Had he been calling your name ___________ afternoon?

16) Had she been checking upon you ___________ five months?

17) Had they been requesting a raise ___________ December?

18) Had he been reading ___________ 10 A.M.

19) Had she been living with her parents __________ six months?

20) Had he been searching for his pen __________ evening?

Answers- 1)had, 2)since, 3)been, 4)for, 5)since, 6)listening, since, 7)been, 8)since, 9)for, 10)been, 11)since, 12)for, 13)for, 14)been, since, 15)since, 16)for, 17)since, 18)since, 19)for, 20)since

MCQs Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Interrogative Past Perfect Continuous Tense:

Choose the correct word from the choices given below so as to make Interrogative Sentence in Past Perfect Continuous form. Check your answers with that provided at the end of the exercise.

1) _________ I been looking nervous _________ morning?

  1. a) had, since
  2. b) had, for
  3. c) did, since

2) Had she _________ waiting for two days?

  1. a) being
  2. b) really
  3. c) been

3) Had they been looking for you _________ morning?

  1. a) for
  2. b) since
  3. c) from

4) Had she been studying ________ dawn?

  1. a) for
  2. b) since
  3. b) hence

5) Had she been __________ for one year?

  1. a) waiting
  2. b) wait
  3. c) waited

6) Had he been ___________ fruits __________ five months?

  1. a) eat, for
  2. b) eating, since
  3. c) eating, for

7) Had he been using the same bike _________ 2009?

  1. a) since
  2. b) for
  3. c) hence

8)  Had she been swimming __________ six years?

  1. a) for
  2. b) since
  3. c) form

9) Had they been complaining __________ morning?

  1. a) from
  2. b) since
  3. c) for

10) Had they _________ shouting for hours?

  1. a) been
  2. b) being
  3. c) got

11) Had they been ___________ on fruits ___________ decades?

  1. a) live, since
  2. b) living, for
  3. c) living , since

12) Had you been sending money __________ three years?

  1. a) for
  2. b) since
  3. c) from

13) Had we been __________ to college __________ 1987?

  1. a) going, for
  2. b) going, since
  3. c) going, from

14) Had he been requesting leave ________ morning?

  1. a) since
  2. b) for
  3. c) hence

15) Had she been recovering __________ yesterday?

  1. a) since
  2. b) hence
  3. c) for

16) _________ they been using a car since 2009?

  1. a) have
  2. b) has
  3. c) had

17) Had _________ been looking at him since morning?

  1. a) they
  2. b) since
  3. c) for

18) Had the teacher been shouting _________ first class?

  1. a) for
  2. b) since
  3. c) from

19) Had I been _____________ tired since morning?

  1. a) looked
  2. b) looking
  3. c) look

20) Had they been _________ for an hour?

  1. a) ate
  2. b) eat
  3. c) eating

Answers- 1)a, 2)c, 3)b, 4)b, 5)a, 6)c, 7)a, 8)a, 9)b, 10)a, 11)b, 12)a, 13)b, 14)a, 15)a, 16)c, 17)a, 18)b, 19)b, 20)c

True or False Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Interrogative Past Perfect Continuous Tense:

Determine whether the following sentences are true or false and also verify you answer with those provided at the end of the exercise.

1) Had he been waiting for you since morning?

2) Had she cooking for evening?

3) Had they been requesting since afternoon?

4) Had we been played for morning?

5) Had he been worrying since yesterday?

6) Had she been calling you since two weeks?

7) Had they been reporting the incidents since afternoon?

8) Had you been looked for him for afternoon?

9) Had he been shouting since morning?

10) Had the children been playing since recess?

11) Had the dog been eating since yesterday?

12) Had he been attending the meeting for five months?

13) Had he been improved since last year?

14) Had she been complaining since yesterday?

15) Had we been walking since morning?

Answers- 1)True, 2)False, 3)True, 4)False, 5)True, 6)False, 7)True, 8)False, 9)True, 10)True 11)True, 12)True, 13)False, 14)True, 15)True

Crosscheck your answers with the corrected sentences provided below:

2) Had she been cooking since evening?

4) Had we been playing since morning?

6) Had she been calling you for two weeks?

8) Had you been looking for him since afternoon?

13) Had he been improving since last year?

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