Is the sentence correct?

After my cousin had been studying Nuclear Physics for six years, he couldn't find a job

I don't think I've ever seen the Past Perfect Continuous used in this case; it's always been the Past Perfect Simple.

  • 2
    Yes, it's unusual but it's fine. It may suit some contexts better. After he had been slaving over his books the whole night, he fell asleep at his desk. Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 16:03
  • 1
    Despite having studied Nuclear Physics for six years, my cousin couldn't find a job.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


"After I had been waiting for twenty minutes, the bus finally arrived" is OK.

Your example feels a bit odd, because if he was looking for a job he had presumably finished his studies and gained a qualification. The continuous tense suggests that the studies were still ongoing.

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