Questions tagged [past-perfect-continuous]

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"I have been talking" vs "I was talking"

May you explain me with some clear examples, what is the difference between using "I have been talking" vs "I was talking"? I heard this sentence during an interview when he was ...
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Using 'ever since' with past perfect continuous tense

So, I am trying to help my friend with his novel. It is completely written using the past tense. I need help from you to check if the following sentence is correct. As luck would have it, they all ...
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Past continuous with duration and 2 concurrent actions

Which one of these sentences is preffered, if any: He was playing video games while we were watching him for an hour. He had been playing video games while we had been watching him for an hour. He ...
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2 answers
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Had rained or had been raining

I was wondering what the difference in meaning is between the two following sentences (if there is any). It had been raining when I left the house. It had rained when I left the house. I'm pretty sure ...
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Backshifting in reported speech with 1)"for...", 2)"from...to...", 3)"while", 4)"until"

I've got a question about backshifting in reported speech. I've got some examples where we use the simple past even though the objects of the actions haven't been completed (the book has never been ...
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Tenses: I studied or I had been studying

I studied in ABC school from 2013 to 2020. I graduated from that school in the year 2020. I was admitted to the school in grade VI, and progressed up to grade XII. The system is similar to the K-12 ...
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Past perfect/past perfect continuous or simply past simple(the use of past tenses)

What past tense should I use? Past perfect :"I had gone in for dancing for 3 years before I went in for swimming". Past perfect continuous:"I had been going in for dancing for 3 years ...
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She had been horse-riding or She had been going horse-riding?

Here is the problem I took from Oxford English Grammar by Swan. Read the text and answer the questions. Use past perfect progressive! .... Rebecca went horse-riding ... Who was wearing high boots and ...
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Which past tense should I use in this case, past simple or past perfect contnuous?

Assume that I want to say that I lived for a while in one country, but then I moved away. What tense do I need to use for that purpose? e.g.: I had been living in England for 2 years, but then in 2015 ...
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1 answer
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Is the tense correct in “I was talking about you for 2 years.”?

Once I've watched a video when reporter said to sportsman who hadn't been participating for 2 years, "I was talking about you for 2 years". Does the reporter use the tense correctly? As far ...
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They had been continuing to applaud for 5 minutes

What tense is better to use to express a process in the past "for some minutes"? For example, we have a phrase "applaud for 5 minutes". If we need to say it at this moment, it will ...
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The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Shouldn't it be "had been listening"?

The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Shouldn't it be "had been listening"? The action "the crowd listened" preceded the action "Paul said" and the listening ...
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"Until now I have been living in the city for a year" or "until now I had been living in the city for a year"?

Could you tell what tense I use after until now in the following context: the present perfect continuous or the past perfect continuous? I have finally moved to the countryside. Untill now I have ...
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Are the past continuous and and the past perfect continuous interchangeable in certain contexts?

Could you tell me if the past continuous and and the past perfect continuous are interchangeable in certain context? For example: Before I moved to the countryside I was living in the city for ...
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Is correct to use the past perfect continuous after the present perfect when the sentences are somehow connected?

could you tell me if it is correct to use the past perfect continuous after the present perfect the sentences are somehow connected? For example: I have finally moved from the city. I had been living ...
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2 answers
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Can "before" be equal to "when" in certain contexts?

There are the following sentences: "I had been waiting for three months before they finally sent me an answer" "He had been waiting for the bus for 10 minutes before it arrived" ...
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Can the past perfect continuous be substituted with the past continuous?

If I want to emphasize both the process and duration of some action or event which was before another one, I should opt out for the past perfect continuous tense: "I had been studying for 3 hours ...
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Until (till) and tenses in the main clause. Why prefer one over another?

They had been playing soccer until it started to rain. They played soccer until it started to rain. Is there any reason you should prefer one over the other? Grammar resources say that the word "...
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Is past perfect continuous mandatory when you mention the duration of an action in reported speech?

He said "I have been working in the garden for 8 hours" - direct speech. He said that he had been working in the garden for 8 hours. - indirect speech Is "He said that he was working in ...
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Can I use the conjunction "before" with the main clause in the past perfect continuous or the past continuous? And which is best?

My textbooks suggest that the only correct option is the one in the past perfect continuous because the past perfect continuous means an action ("planning") which lasted up to the later ...
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Is it possible to use “yet” with past simple?

Is it common to use “yet” with Past Simple before Past Perfect Progressive? Or is it better to use Present Perfect? Someone asked me : Why you hadn’t written earlier? I think a specific time is ...
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The Past Continuous vs. the Past Perfect Continuous in context

Could you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between the following sentences? When I got into the movie industry, I was waiting tables for seven years. When I got into the movie industry, ...
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1 answer
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They had eaten. vs They had been eating [duplicate]

At first, please read 2 below sentences. When I arrived, everybody was sitting round the table and talking. Their mouths were empty, but their stomachs were full. After those sentences which next is ...
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past tense or past perfect continous tense?

For the past several days, I was unable to get access to the internet. Should I use past tense or past perfect continuous tense if at the time of writing, the internet access problem has already been ...
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4 answers
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What is the difference between "has been" and "had been" here?

She looks as if she has been ill. vs. She looks as if she had been ill. What is the difference in the meaning between these two sentences?
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2 votes
2 answers
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Why Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuous? Sentences are added

thanks for paying attention to my request. There are four sentenses that drive me crazy :) The sentences and the keys are provided by a book for a CAE exam preparation. 1) She was breathing hard as ...
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Is it possible to change the tense in this sentence?

This is a from a novel: A little girl got sick after eating something and the mother wants to know what it was. The sentence says: "What have you been eating?" "The dried leaves in the box on ...
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Using past perfect continuous in this situation

I find difficult the past perfect continuous, so I looked for some real examples for practice it. I will give you reasons about why the writer used the past perfect continuous in this situation, for ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Difference between Past continuous and Past perfect continuous

In these following sentences, which one is grammatically correct? They were playing football since 10 o'clock. They had been playing football since 10 o'clock. According to this reference ...
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Use of Past Perfect for a state/action that isn't true anymore

The traditional definition for the past perfect tense is thT it's used to convey that something occured before another action in the past. Here are some example sentences from a website: I had ...
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present perfect vs present perfect continuous confusion

I have a confusion between present perfect tense and present perfect continuous tense. Here I describe a situation. Ram read story book from his childhood day. Ram preferred reading story book when he ...
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Can "already" be used with the past perfect progressive?

This is from a grammar book: By the time we had lunch he had already jogged. (meaning he had finished jogging) Is it possible to say: "By the time we had lunch he had already been jogging" (without ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Using Past-Perfect interchangeably with the Past Continuous

I've seen this sentence in another post here: Tom Cruise was thinking of a career in the church before finding a job in the movies. Would it be fine to use the Past-Perfect as well? If so, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
41 views

Equality of continuous and perfect tenses (in a certain context)

Would they be both correct and equal in the same context (just to mention the fact) if I said TODAY: (1)It has been raining all day. (2)It is raining all day. Would they be both correct and ...
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2 answers
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change of tenses, different focus?

I have read the following sentence on a review site and it said: "The box looked like someone had played football with it". Can I change the sentence into: "The box looked like someone had been ...
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Is there a difference in meaning between "had looked at" and "had been looking at"?

I have found two examples of the same sentence where different tenses are used. I can't find the pictures I had looked at earlier. I can't find the pictures I had been looking at earlier. To me ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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past perfect continuous and completion

He was really dirty because he had been repairing the car. Is it possible to say this even if the repairs have been completed, but I don't want to emphasize the completion just the fact that being ...
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3 votes
3 answers
386 views

Using the correct tense to establish a past context

Given the following sentence: Vivian _____________ computer lessons for very long so she wasn't sure how to use the Internet. I put hadn't had in missing place but the answer was hadn't been ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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past perfect progressive instead of past perfect simple?

This is from a novel: The man who had sat next to her the day before began to laugh. Is it possible to say: The man who had been sitting next to her the day before began to laugh?
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Having something for years correct tense usage

Suppose I have a thing. I've acquired the thing many years ago but still have it. As far as I know, a correct phrase describing the said situation would be: I've been having this thing for years. ...
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Which is the correct phrase to be used here ? (since, from, was born, born) [closed]

Which one of the following is the correct answer sentence ? Que: "Which is your favourite game ?" Correct answer phrase ? 1) "The one I have been playing since the day I born" 2) "The one I have ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Continuous difference in meaning

In my grammar text book there is a sentence describing Past Perfect vs Past Perfect Continuous difference. I understand the difference between those two tenses, but there is another thing that makes ...
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1 vote
2 answers
277 views

Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Continuous/Past Simple

Doing a grammar task I found this: A: Did you go out last night? B: No, 1) _____(work) all day, so I 2) _____(stay) in and 3) _____(watch) TV. The key says that the only option here is 1) had been ...
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past simple or past perfect progressive

This is an example from a book: "I had been teaching English in Japan when the earthquake hit." To me this means that I had been teaching for a while at the time the earthquake hit. If I just want to ...
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2 votes
2 answers
215 views

past simple, past continuous and past perfect continuous

Am I correct? Yesterday lunchtime we had a bust-up. This is just stating a fact. The bust-up happened at lunchtime. Yesterday lunchtime we had been having a bust-up. This is emphasizing the ...
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0 votes
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How does Past Perfect Progressive give an idea of time

At 10:00 last night, it had been raining for an hour. In this sentence how do we understand the time? In other words, the hour that was mentioned in this sentence, what does it mean? Does it mean ...
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had limped vs had been limping

"There were drops of blood on the floor, it looked as if a small wounded creature had limped through the stall." Could you say: “There were drops of blood on the floor, it looked as if a small ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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past perfect progressive vs past perfect simple

Do these sentences have the same meaning and can they be interchanged? Workers have recently worked on the system. Workers have recently been working on the system.
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0 votes
1 answer
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past continuous vs past perfect continuous

What is the difference between these two sentences? I took my car to the garage because it wasn't working properly. This means that at that moment my car wasn't working properly. I took my car to ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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difference between present perfect simple or continuous?

I would like to know if there is a difference between I have just talked to John about this and I have just been talking to John about this? Does the progressive mean the conversation ...
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