How do we make the Past Perfect Continuous Tense?
The structure of the Past Perfect Continuous tense is:
|subject||+||auxiliary have||+||auxiliary be||+||main verb|
|conjugated in Past Simple||past participle|
The first auxiliary verb (have) is conjugated in the Past Simple, invariable: had
The second auxiliary verb (be) is invariable in past participle form: been
The main verb is invariable in present participle form: -ing
For negative sentences we insert not after the first auxiliary verb.
For question sentences, we exchange the subject and the first auxiliary verb.
Look at these example sentences with the Past Perfect Continuous tense:
|subject||auxiliary verb||auxiliary verb||main verb|
Contraction with Past Perfect Continuous
When we use the Past Perfect Continuous in speaking, we often contract the subject and the first auxiliary verb. We also sometimes do this in informal writing.
|I had been||I'd been|
|you had been||you'd been|
|he had been
she had been
it had been
|we had been||we'd been|
|they had been||they'd been|
- He'd been drinking all day.
- It'd been pouring with rain.
In negative sentences, we may contract the first auxiliary verb and "not":
- We hadn't been living there long.
- They hadn't been studying very hard.