Past Perfect Continuous

We use the past perfect continuous to look back at a situation in progress.

  • It was a good time to invest. Inflation had been falling for several months.
  • Before I changed jobs, I had been working on a plan to reduce production costs.
  • We had been thinking about buying a new house but then we decided to stay here.

We use it to say what had been happening before something else happened.

  • It had been snowing for a while before we left.
  • We had been playing tennis for only a few minutes when it started raining.
  • He was out of breath when he arrived because he had been running.

We use it when reporting things said in the past.

  • She said she had been trying to call me all day.
  • They said they had been shopping.
  • I told you I had been looking for some new clothes.

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