Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Aa

Every human being has a name.

Aa

All the names have some kind of meaning or significance.

People have names so that it’s easy for others to identify and call them.

Similarly, there are identifiers in English grammar, which tell us when an action is taking place.

These identifiers are known as tenses.

There are three tenses in English.

Let us try to understand what past tense is.

Aa

A past tense verb is used to indicate an action, event or condition that had happened in the past.

There are four types of past tense.

To begin with, let’s see what past perfect continuous tense is.

We use past perfect continuous tense to describe actions that were going on in the past until another action happened in the past.

To form the past perfect continuous tense, we add “had been” to the past participle(verb + ‘ing) of the verb used.

Past Perfect Continuous tense various uses. Let us look at them one by one.

Firstly, we use Past perfect continuous tense to show that something started in the past and continued up until another action began.

Aa

They had been talking for over an hour before Tony arrived.

Here, the verb “had been talking”, tells us that Action 1 continues to take place until Action 2 occurs. So, it is in the past perfect continuous tense.

We also use past perfect continuous tense before another action in the past to show cause and effect.

Aa

For example: Jason was tired because he had been jogging.

Here, the verb “had been jogging” tells us that Action 2 was caused due to Action 1. So, it is in the past perfect continuous tense.

Let us look at a few more examples.

Aa

He had been drinking milk out of the carton when mom walked into the kitchen.

Here, the verb “had been drinking” tells us that Action 1 was going on when Action 2 occured. Therefore, it is in past perfect continuous tense.

There is a slight difference between the past continuous and past perfect continuous tense.

Aa

Past continuous merely shows continuity.

On the other hand, past perfect continuous tense helps us by giving us the duration of the event.

Time for a quick recap!

Aa

Tenses are identifiers which tell us when an action is going on.

There are three tenses in English: PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE.

There are four types of past tense: Simple Past, Past Continuous, Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous.

We use past perfect continuous tense to describe actions that were going on in the past until another action happened in the past.

The End

Aa