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Unit 16. Past perfect continuous (I had been doing).

Unit 16; Part A

Study this example situation:
16.1.jpgYesterday morning I got up and looked out of the window. The sun was shining, but the ground was very wet.
It had been raining.

It was not raining when I looked out of the window; the sun was shining. But it had been raining before.

Had been -ing is the past perfect continuous:


(= I'd etc.)
(= he'd etc.)

Some more examples:
    When the boys came into the house, their clothes were dirty, their hair was untidy and one of them had a black eye. They'd been fighting.
•    I was very tired when I got home. I'd been working hard all day.
    When I went to Madrid a few years ago, I stayed with a friend of mine. She
'd been living there only a short time but knew the city very well.

Unit 16; Part B

galka.jpgYou can say that something had been happening for a period of time before something else happened:
•    We'd been playing tennis for about half an hour when it started to rain heavily.
    George went to the doctor last Friday. He hadn't been feeling well for some time.

Unit 16; Part C

galka.jpgCompare have been -ing (present perfect continuous) and had been -ing (past perfect continuous):

Unit 16; Part D

galka.jpgCompare was -ing (past continuous) and had been -ing:
    It wasn't raining when we went out. The sun was shining. But it had been raining, so the ground was wet.
    Cathy was sitting in an armchair resting. She was tired because she'd been working very hard.

Unit 16; Part E

Some verbs (for example, know and like) are not normally used in the continuous:
•     We were good friends. We had known each other for years.  (not had been knowing)

For a list of these verbs, see Unit 4A.


flag.jpgRead the situations and make sentences from the words in brackets.
Key.2    They'd been playing football. / They had been playing ...
3    I'd been looking forward to it. /I had been looking forward ...
4    She'd been dreaming. / She had been dreaming.
5    He'd been watching a film. / He had been watching ...

1    I was very tired when I arrived home.
      (I / work / hard all day)    I'd been working hard all day.   
2    The two boys came into the house. They had a football and they were both very tired.
      (they / play / football) _______________________________
3    I was disappointed when I had to cancel my holiday.
      (I / look / forward to it) _______________________________
4    Ann woke up in the middle of the night. She was frightened and didn't know where she was.
      (she / dream) _______________________________
5    When I got home, Tom was sitting in front of the TV. He had just turned it off.
      (he / watch /a film) _______________________________
flag.jpgRead the situations and complete the sentences.
Key.2    I'd been waiting for 20 minutes when I (suddenly) realised that Iwas in the wrong restaurant,    or    ... that I had come to the wrongrestaurant.
3    At the time the factory closed down, Sarah had been working there for five years.
4    The orchestra had been playing for about ten minutes when a man in the audience started shouting.
5    Example answer: I'd been walking along the road for about tenminutes when a car suddenly stopped just behind me.

1    We played tennis yesterday. Half an hour after we began playing, it started to rain.
      We    had been playing for half an hour    when   it started to rain  .   
2    I had arranged to meet Tom in a restaurant. I arrived and waited for him.
      After 20 minutes I suddenly realised that I was in the wrong restaurant.
      I _____________________ for 20 minutes when I _____________________ the wrong restaurant.
3    Sarah got a job in factory. Five years later the factory closed down.
      At the time the factory _____________________, Sarah _____________________ there for five years.
4    I went to a concert last week. The orchestra began playing.
      After about ten minutes a man in the audience suddenly started shouting.
     The orchestra _____________________ when _____________________

This time make your own sentence:

5    I began walking along the road. I _____________________ when _____________________

flag.jpgPut the verb into the most suitable form, past continuous (I wasdoing), past perfect (I had done) or past perfect continuous (I hadbeen doing).
Key.3 was walking
4 'd been running / had been running
5 were eating
6 'd been eating / had been eating
7 was looking
8 was waiting ... 'd been waiting / had been waiting
9 'd had / had had
10 'd been travelling / had been travelling

1    It was very noisy next door. Our neighbours    were having    (have) a party.
2    We were good friends. We   had known   (know) each other for years.
3    John and I went for a walk. I had difficulty keeping up with him because he _________________ (walk) so fast.
4    Sue was sitting on the ground. She was out of breath. She _________________ (run).
5    When I arrived, everybody was sitting round the table with their mouths full. They _________________ (eat).
6    When I arrived, everybody was sitting round the table and talking.Their mouths were empty, but their stomachs were full. They_________________ (eat).
7    Jim was on his hands and knees on the floor. He _________________ (look) for his contact lens.
8    When I arrived, Kate _________________ (wait) for me. She wasannoyed with me because I was late and she _________________ (wait) fora long time.
9    I was sad when I sold my car. I _________________ (have) it for a very long time.
10  We were extremely tired at the end of the journey. We _________________ (travel) for more than 24 hours

Unit 15      Unit 16     Unit 17 forward.jpg

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