What had you been
Lesson Topic: The
Past Perfect Progressive.
If you read our lesson
about the past perfect, you will remember that the past perfect is
used for two actions that happened in the past. However, these two
actions did NOT happen at the same time; one activity happened before the
got home, it had rained.
What happened first? What happened second?
First: It rained
Second: Jackie got home.
The first of the two activities uses the past
What if you want to know how long that first
activity happened? If you want to know how long the
activity happened, or if you want to express the duration of the activity,
you can use the past perfect progressive.
Before Jackie got home, it had been raining for
So, how do you make the present perfect progressive? Good question! Here's how you make it:
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When the past perfect progressive answers a how-long
question, it often uses the words for and since.
The kids were very tired
because they had been playing baseball since
early this morning.
kids were very tired because they had been playing baseball for
Notice that it is not necessary to use the
words before and after when using the past perfect
If you want to say that the first activity was happening
very close to the second activity, you may use the past perfect
The two corporate CEOs were
very excited because they had been negotiating a big business
There is one more thing you must remember: some verbs
usually do NOT have -ing. For example, we say I know
would never say I am knowing you. That's because
know canNOT have -ing. Verbs that cannot have
-ing are called stative verbs.
Here is a list of stative verbs. The words on the following list rarely have
-ing. Therefore, they are rarely used with the past perfect progressive.
with the meaning of possession: I have a pen.
Because these verbs cannot be used with the past
perfect progressive, you can just use the past perfect with since
|Before you told
me the news about Phil's car, I had been knowing about it for 2
||Before you told
me the news about Phil's car, I had known about it for 2 days.
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the two activities together in one sentence by using the past perfect
progressive. Make sure you use the time information. You may
add words, such as because or after.
There may be more than one answer. The first one has been done for
1. First: It snowed all morning.
kids went outside to make a snowman.
Answer: Before the kids
went outside, it had been snowing all morning.
2. First: She loved him for a year.
had their first date.
3. First: I studied French for 2 years.
4. First: Trudy drove for 12 straight hours.
had an accident.
5. First: The doctor was trained for 4 years.
opened his own office.
6. First: I
told me the truth.
7. First: Diane
watched TV all afternoon.
eyes were itchy.
8. First: Columbus
sailed for more than 2 months.
and his 90 sailors saw North America.
9. First: It rained
a long time.
clothes were wet.
10. First: Raw meat was
on the table for a week.
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