Past Perfect Continuous Tense in English – Structure, Rules & Examples


In the previous unit, we have discussed the Past Perfect Tense in detail. We assume that you have learned the forms of verbs and their meanings in this unit and are also aware of What is Tense. if not, please click these links and learn them first.

This tense tells about the action which began and continued in the past. This tense has thus a specific time mentioned. e.g. He had been playing GTA 5 since morning, they had been ordering Mi Phone from Amazon for a few days, etc.

In Hindi/Urdu, Past Perfect Continuous Tense ends with se raha tha, se rahi thi, se rhe the. e.g. Wo kal se Khana kha raha tha.

In this tense, we use had and -ing form (present participle form) of the verb and mention time using since or for.

Since & For

Before we move forward, let us understand the use of since and for

Since is used for point of time i.e. when we know the exact time, day, month, week, year, etc. e.g. since 9 O’Clock, since Wednesday, since January, since 2013, since morning, etc.

On the other hand, For is used for a period of time i.e. when we don’t know the exact time, date, week, month, year, etc. e.g. for 7 hours, for 9 days, for 4 weeks, for several months, for many years, etc. Please look at the following image for the recap.

Rule 1

Now that we have understood the use of since and for. Let us now understand the structure of the sentence in Past Perfect Continuous Tense.

In Past Perfect Continuous Tense, we use had been with He, She, It, I, We, You, They and Name and -ing form of the verb (present participle form) and time by using since or for. Here is the basic structure of Past Perfect Continuous Tense:

Here are some more examples for you.

  1. Basanti had been dancing for dogs since July. (Basanti July se kutto k liye naach rahi thi)
  2. It had been raining for 9 hours. (Barish 9 ghanto se ho rahi thi)
  3. Dhinchak Pooja had been singing raps since 2017. (Dhinchak Pooja 2017 se rap ga rahi thi)
  4. He had been using Sona Slim Belt for 8 months. (Wo 8 mahino se Sona Slim Belt istamal kr raha tha)
  5. had been doing my work for weeks. (mein kei hafto se apna kaam kar raha tha)
  6. She had been making monkey faces on Snapchat since last year. (Wo pichle saal se Snapchat par bandariya ki shakal bana rahi thi)
  7. We had been creating new groups on Telegram since 2017(Hum 2017 se WhatsApp par naye groups bana rahe the)
  8. You had been telling lies for 10 minutes(Ap 10 minutes se jhoot bol rahe the)
  9. They had been playing PUBG since 7:00 PM(Wo 7 baje se PUBG Khel rahe the)
  10. We had been selling Pakodas for 7 years. (Hum 7 saalo se pakodey bech rahe the)

Rule 2

We bring had been before He/She/It/I/We/You/They and Name while making questions in Past Perfect Continuous Tense. e.g.


Now that we have understood the basics of Past Perfect Continuous Tense, let us memorize what we have learned.

  1. In Past Perfect Continuous Tense, we use the Present Participle Form (-ing form) of Verb.
  2. We use had been with He, She, It, I, We, You, They and Name (e.g. He had been ____, She had been ____, It had been ____, Sumaiyah had been ______, I had been___, You had been ____, We had been ____, They had been ____).
  3. This tense has a specific time mentioned. Hence we use since and for. Since is used for point of time (when we know the exact time, day, date, week, month, year, etc) and for is used for a period of time (when we don’t know the exact time, date, day, week, month, years, etc)

Play Quiz

Play Quiz on Past Perfect Continuous Tense