How do we use the Past Perfect Continuous Tense?
The Past Perfect Continuous tense is like the Past Perfect tense, but it expresses longer actions in the past before another action in the past. For example:
- Ram started waiting at 9am. I arrived at 11am. When I arrived, Ram had been waiting for two hours.
|Ram starts waiting in past at 9am.|
|I arrive in past at 11am.|
|Ram had been waiting for two hours when I arrived.|
Here are some more examples:
- John was very tired. He had been running.
- I could smell cigarettes. Somebody had been smoking.
- Suddenly, my car broke down. I was not surprised. It had not been running well for a long time.
- Had the pilot been drinking before the crash?
You can sometimes think of the Past Perfect Continuous tense like the Present Perfect Continuous tense, but instead of the time being now the time is before.
For example, imagine that you meet Ram at 11am. Ram says to you:
- "I am angry. I have been waiting for two hours."
Later, you tell your friends:
- "Ram was angry. He had been waiting for two hours."