Please take a look at the following quotation:

"... the cat had been missing for three days now..."

I have not as yet been made aware that the past perfect continuous can be connected to the present through a time expression, that is, for three days now. On the contrary, I've always thought that it categorically finishes before another past event.

If I were to express those thoughts, I would certainly have used the present perfect continuous:

the cat has been missing for three days now.

Please let me know why did the author use the past perfect continuous, and by the by, what is its use implication, what do you think of the cat's status: found or still missing?

1 Answer 1


Now can be used in narrative contexts to refer to a point in the past as the reference time.

The assassins stepped aside, and now Brutus took his turn.

Without additional context, we can't be sure that this is the case in the passage you cited, but if it is, the past perfect is being connected to a point in time in the past, not to the present.

P.S. The page you linked to does not open for me.

P.P.S. I tried a second time, and it is indeed the narrative context I had suspected.

He was afraid he had said the wrong thing—the cat had been missing for three days now.

This now is his present at that time (the time of his fear), not ours.

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