Is it possible to use past perfect continuous tense with the conjunction 'after'?

For example:

The rain started after we had been playing for about an hour.


1 Answer 1


Such usage is absolutely possible.

Using the simple past perfect tense asserts that after the relevant period of playing was over, the rain started. It is unstated whether more than hour of play took place or was planned. The connection between the two is unstated and what makes the hour of playing relevant to the communication is unstated. It could be that only an hour of play was planned. It could be that more was planned, but the rain interrupted it after an hour.

Using the past perfect continuous tense asserts that the playing was ongoing after an hour had passed and so more clearly implies that the start of the rain interfered with it. It still doesn't clearly state whether the play stopped after an hour, but it clearly implies the start of the rain and the play intersected.

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