Past Perfect Continuous # Grammar For IELTS

Past perfect continuous takes the following form –
Had been + present participle
I had been waiting for you since morning.
At that time he had been writing novel for five months.
Past perfect tense is used in the following cases –

When something begins in the past and continues for sometime
Past perfect continuous is very much like present perfect continuous. It is used when something begins in the past and continues for a certain time and then finishes off in the past itself.



  • She had been working in the company for few months, before she left to pursue her passions.
  • How long had you been waiting to get the bus?
  • He had been working hard for four months before he got his first break.
Past perfect continuous tense is often used to express the “cause and effect” relationship.

  • He is tired because he had been jogging for past 2 hours.
  • He gained weight as he had been overeating.
  • Archie failed the final exams because he had not been attending the classes for a year.

NOTE – Past Continuous emphasizes interrupted actions, whereas Past Perfect Continuous emphasizes a duration of time before something in the past.
He was tired because he was running.
This shows that he is tired because he is running at the moment.
He was tired because he had been running for an hour.
This shows that he ran for over a period of one hour and therefore he is tired.