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The Past Perfect Progressive


            The Past Perfect continuous describes two actions in the past emphasising the duration of the first action before the other action occurred.
            It shows that an action started in the past and continued until another time in the past.



    Subj. had been + verb+ing    
e.g We had been working hard during the few weeks before the exams.


    Subj. had not been + verb+ing    
e.g He had not been doing anything when they came to pay him a visit.


   Had + subj. + been + verb+ing    
e.g Had they been enjoying the show?
e.g How long had they been waiting before they got their tickets?

Things To Retain


            */ Put the verbs between brackets in the correct form.
       01. I couldn't focus because the kids (make) such a deafening noise.
       02. The kids (have) fun till they fell asleep.
       03. The kids (run) when poor Alex slipped and fell down.
       04. The kids (not / carry) their satchels when I met them early this morning.
       05. Grandma! The kids (behave) well before you came.
       06. Reda (take) a walk when he found a purse full of banknotes.
       07. Last night, I finished the essay that I (write) for months.
       08. He got tired because he (work) on the computer for hours.
       09. He (wait) for his friend for an hour before he finally showed up.
       10. She got fatter because she (not / exercise) .
       11. He said that he (try) to fix the car but in vain.
       12. The stupid cat (follow) me for a long distance till he got bored and left.
       13. Before Radia finally agreed to marry Ali, she (think) about it for a year.
       14. They (plan) to break into the bank when the police arrested them.
       15. By the time I was born, my sister (work) in the bank for years.
       16. Someone (walk) by the house when the dog started to bark.
       17. Prior to the final exams, the kids (cram) for weeks.
       18. How long (they / wait) here before you gave me a call?
       19. I (not / sleep) when you phoned.
       20. He (prepare) to escape when the police suddenly broke into.

In Context

Spot The Past Perfect and the Past Perfect Continuous Tenses in this short passage

        She smoothly dropped the golden pen she had been writing with, and she fainted in silence. The words she had been writing were glowing so magically that she couldn't bear their charming powers. Unfortunately, I missed the scene because I had been busy cleaning the window pane to get a clear view of the world outside. What a dim idea!

       The perfect world I had been trying to visualize was not outside. On the contrary, everything was inside, but I hadn't been digging in the right place using the right tools; otherwise I could have discovered a mine where from I could extract treasures like the hectic refining words that our brains perpetually generate to confuse or to excite us, and sometimes even to send us into a deep trance. The inside fantastic world of ecstasy exists and it is more authentic than the one people usually try to perceive through each others' eyes.

       Now, how could it be possible I depicted a scene I hadn't seen?! Please, don't bother to answer; I know that the same question had already crossed your mind. I'm talking about the marvels of being at two different locations at the same time.

       Just start the journey inwards, and you will discover a multidimensional world that you could never imagine it had been there long before your expedition."

From Inward Expedition ~ M. Abdessalami

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