Past Perfect Continuous / Past Perfect Progressive (過去完成進行式)

 

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1.  Emphasize an event or action that had been in progress for some time (in past perfect continuous tense) before another event or action or a particular time in the past (in past simple tense).  It emphasizes the duration of a past event or action up to a certain point in the past.  The event that had been in progress before another event or action or a particular time in the past may be a cause of the later event.  <Past perfect continuous indicates a more temporary short term event while past perfect indicates a more permanent complete event>. 

2.  It is used in storytelling or reported speech.

3.  It is used to indicate an unreal situation in the past as in the case of 3rd conditional.     

4.  Past Perfect Continuous emphasizes duration of a past event or action up to a certain point in the past, while Past Continuous emphasizes interrupted actions.   

5.  Past Perfect Continuous states actions or events that are still in progress up to a point in time in the past, while Past Perfect states actions or events that are completed.   

 

For example:

 

1.  She had never been smoking this much before she entered college.

1.  Mary had always been working as a housewife before John’s car accident.

1.  I had been working as a software engineer until I ran into Helen.

1.  Jon had been living in Paris before he moved to New York.

1.  Sarah had been thinking of getting a boat but put off the idea and decided to buy a convertible instead. 

1.  He had been watching TV for three hours after he woke up.

1.  The snow had been piling for a while when the snow blower finally came.

1.  By the time Tom left Jenny, they had been living together for more than ten years.

1.  Jenny had been talking on the phone for hours before the mailman came.

1.  My furnace died as it had not been working properly for some time. 

1.  My daughter was all dirty because she had been playing with the mud.

1.  Manny looked horrible.  He had not been sleeping for days.

1.  It was the worse time to speak up.  The boss had been grumping all morning.

 

 

2.  Jean said that she had never been washing so many dishes before. 

2.  When Tom met Sally, he knew right away that she was the girl that he had been looking for all along. 

2.  John stated that he had been trying to reach me all day long but in vain. 

2.  He said that he had been searching for a new home for the kids.

2.  I told you that I had been running for a City Council position.

 

3.  If I had had more money, I could have bought a vacation home in Hawaii .

=> In reality, I did not have more money and thus could not buy a vacation home in Hawaii.  For more details, please see http://elisaenglish.pixnet.net/blog/post/639518  

 

4.  Henry was talking on the phone when Tom arrived.

=> Past continuous emphasizes at that moment when Tom arrived, Henry was talking on the phone.

Henry had been talking on the phone for three hours when Tom arrived.

=> Past perfect continuous emphasizes the duration of the talk that Henry had been talking for three hours when the event happened (Tom arrived)

For more details, please see http://elisaenglish.pixnet.net/blog/post/2737316

 

5.  When we arrived at the auditorium, the kids had already sung Christmas Carol.

=> Past perfect emphasizes a complete action before another action occurred.

When we arrived at the auditorium, the kids had been singing Christmas Carol for five minutes. 

=> Past perfect continuous emphasizes an action in progress when another action occurred.   

For more details, please see http://elisaenglish.pixnet.net/blog/post/2737349

 

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