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Past Perfect Progressive Tense

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The past perfect progressive is mainly used to describe a period before an action. That is, the period from one point to the beginning of the action.

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Past Perfect Progressive Formation

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„had“ + „been“ + Infinitive + “-ing“

Just as in the other progressive tenses, the past perfect progressive is formed with the help of the “to be” form “had” and a verb + “-ing“. You should also note that you are keeping the word order (subject, predicate, object).


„had“ + „been“  +  Infinitive + „-ing“

Also, the negation is not really difficult, as the formation of a “normal” sentence. That means you just have to put a “not” behind the “to be” form (“had”).



In contrast, there are no irregular verbs in Past Perfect Progressive.

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What is to be observed in the course of the Past Perfect!

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Spelling rules to “-ing” formation:

Particularly, making verbs with ing at the end is very simple. However, there are few points to consider:


 1. For verbs ending in “-e”:

The “-e” goes away:

  • give becomes giving


2. Verbs ending in “-er”, “-ur”, “-ir”:

The final consonant is doubled:

  • occurs to occurring


3. Monosyllabic verbs ending on a stressed consonant:

As with the second rule, the last consonant is doubled here:

  • get becomes getting
  • swim becomes swimming
  • fit becomes fitting


4. Verbs ending in “-ie”:

For this purpose, the “-ie” is replaced by a “-y” in the formation:

  • lie becomes lying


Don’t be confused:

Basically, both “had not” and “hadn’t” express the same thing, but when writing you should consider what intension is behind the text.

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Past Perfect Progressive Example

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Normal sentence:

I had been learning.


Negative sentence:

I had not been learning.  /  I hadn’t been learning.



Had I been learning?

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Past Perfect Progressive signal words

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  • How long?
  • since
  • for
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How the Progressive form of the Past Perfect is used in English!

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  • On the one hand, past perfect progressive is used to describe an action that describes a period of time. This period goes from one point before the occurrence of the action to the occurrence of the action.
  • On the other hand, the use is to describe an action that has taken place in the past, within a small time frame. (For example, I had just watched TV at this time.)
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About me

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Hey, formerly I thought that learning languages was an innate one. Either you can speak English perfectly or not and no matter how much you learn – “I do not write a good grade in English anyway.” But I quickly learned that you do not know everything in your mother tongue.


After a while, I gave myself one last chance to learn English. Only this time I limited myself to the essential points.

That means for me verbs: the form – examples – signal words & the usage

This method enabled me to learn English faster than ever before.


Since then I know that learning to talk is not innate. And through that realization, my vision has become to offer other students the opportunity to learn English, just like I did back then. Now I ask you to help me by sharing this article with your friends! Thanks a lot!


You read: Past Perfect Progressive Tense

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Past Perfect Progressive Tense
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