To form the past perfect continuous tense (also called the past perfect progressive) we use the auxiliary verb "had been" and the main verb with -ing ending.
had been + infinitive + -ing
Past perfect continuous positive and negative
|pronoun||auxiliary verb||infinitive + ing|
had not been
The grass was wet. It had been raining.
The soil was very dry. It hadn't been raining for several weeks.
We were tired because we had been working all day long.
Mike felt better after he had been taking pills for some time.
Mind the spelling of verb + -ing!
- In one-syllable verbs, that end with a vowel + a consonant, we double the last consonant: run → running, swim → swimming
- We double the last consonant if there are two or more syllables and the last one is stressed. We also double it when the word ends with -l, no matter which syllable is stressed: prefer → preferring, begin → beginning, travel → travelling, cancel → cancelling
- If the infinitive ends with -e, we leave out -e after adding -ing: come → coming, smile → smiling
- If the infinitive ends with -ie, we replace -ie with -ying: lie → lying, die → dying