Can we describe a continuous action after/before another continuous action in the same sentence using different continuous tenses?

For instance something like that:

Before I have been reading several times, I had been swimming a while in my pool.

As we all know, we can use past perfect combined with simple past:

When Jane had seen the elephants, she wanted to see the giraffes.

Here, the actions are not continuous. Jane had seen the elephants (at first, and then) she wanted to see the giraffes.

My question is whether it is valid to build such sentences with continuous tense forms?

After Jane had been watching elephants a while, she has been walking a while to the home.

  • 1
    have been... yesterday is ungrammatical Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 16:17
  • several times
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 16:21
  • The question is unclear. The "example" is completely nonsensical, to the extent that I have no idea what it's even supposed to mean. malocho - can you explain (using as many words as you need) exactly what you're trying to say? Is it necessary to include "several times" or "a while in my pool"? (if not, please edit them out). Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 16:57
  • You haven't given any new information at all regarding what your first example is supposed to mean, so no - it's no more comprehensible to me now than it was before. Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


You have to be really careful with the construction of your example sentence since you need two situations to have started together or overlapped but not finished at the same time.

One possible sentence might be

I had been dozing on and off while I have been on this flight, but now I'll watch the movies before we land.

  • Is an overlapping between these actions really necessary, can they start one after the other?
    – malocho
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 21:00

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