Grammar Resource Book - Посібник (Левашов О.С.)

Past perfect continuous





I had been studying

Had I been studying?

I had not been studying

We had been studying

Had we been studying?

We had not been studying

You had been studying

Had you been studying?

You had not been studying

He/she/it had been studying

Had he/she/it been studying?

He/she/it had not been studying

They had been studying

Had they been studying?

They had not been studying


1. An action which started in the past and continued up until another time in the past, e.g. I had been waiting there for two hours before she finally arrived. James had been teaching at the University for more than a year before he left for Africa.


We had been climbing for six hours when we at last reached the summit of the mountain.

The wind which had been blowing all day fell at sunset.

At that time we had been living in Kharkiv for about six months.

When I found Mary, I saw that she had been crying.

My legs were stiff because I had been standing still for a long time.

I had been reading science fiction, and my mind was full of strange images.

I had been sleeping for a long while when we reached the town.

I saw that it was 2 o’clock. We had been sitting there an hour and a half.

It was a letter which I had been expecting for some time.

He had been walking nearly two hours since he last looked at his watch.

Much havoc had been developing in the streets of London where drivers of vehicles of every kind moved where they liked and at any speed within their capabilities.

I had been standing at the bus stop for almost half an hour before the bus finally arrived.

We had been driving for about fifty miles when we saw the first house.

When his wife went away without any notice he had been living in the town for more than ten years.

He had been looking for his bag for half an hour before he finally realized he had left it in the office.

We had been waiting for the lecturer for almost forty minutes before we left the lecture hall.

They had been discussing the subject for two hours when Jack suddenly had an idea.

He had been walking on since the dawn but there was no sign of a human dwelling.

She had been swimming in the pool for an hour when her mother called her for lunch.

 David Kennedy, the fourth son of the late Robert Kennedy, died yesterday in Palm Beach, Florida, where he had been visiting his grandmother, Mrs. Rose Kennedy.


By the time the police arrived the street fight had been going on for half an hour.

The jury had been deliberating for six hours when the judge postponed the trial.

The gang had been robbing people in the city centre for almost two years before the police caught them.

When Miss Marple learned about the burglary in Oak Street, the police had been investigating the crime for a fortnight, alas, with no results.

The police had been searching for the suspect for three years before they got exact information of his whereabouts.

He had been working as a detective for forty years before he had a heart attack and left his job.

The victim had been receiving threats for months but unfortunately didn’t inform police about it.

The forensic expert immediately understood that the body had been floating in the river for not less than three days.

The driver who ran the red light apparently had been drinking.

September 11 proved that intelligence agencies had not been doing their job properly.

At the post-mortem examination the pathologist concluded from the patches of lividity on the body that the victim had been sitting on a “fairly hard seat”.

A forensic doctor had been examining the body for half an hour when he found a tiny needle mark behind the left ear.

When mafia found out that Gutierrez was an informer, he had been working for the FBI for almost a decade.

After the legislators had been discussing the new police powers law for two months they finally came to a deadlock.

The police had been searching for the suspect for almost a year when one of his accomplices led them to his hideout.