Past perfect continuous

Funzioni del past perfect continuous

Il past perfect continuous corrisponde al present perfect continuous, ma si riferisce a un tempo anteriore "al momento attuale'. Come avviene per il present perfect continuous, quello che interessa è il processo con cui si svolge un'azione.

Esempi
  • Had you been waiting long before the taxi arrived?
  • We had been trying to open the door for five minutes when Jane found her key.
  • It had been raining hard for several hours and the streets were very wet.
  • Her friends had been thinking of calling the police when she walked in.

Questo tempo si usa anche nel discorso indiretto e corrisponde al past simple continuous e al present perfect continuous nel discorso diretto:

  • Jane said, "I have been gardening all afternoon." = Jane said she had been gardening all afternoon.
  • When the police questioned him, John said, "I was working late in the office that night." = When the police questioned him, John told them he had been working late in the office that night.

Come si forma il past perfect continuous

Il past perfect continuous si compone di due elementi: il past perfect del verbo to be (=had been) + il participio presente (forma base + ing).

Soggetto had been forma base + ing
I had been walking
Affermativa
She had been trying
Negativa
She hadn't been sleeping
Interrogativa
Had you been eating?
Interrogativa negativa
Hadn't they been living?
Past perfect continuous del verbo "to buy"
Affermativa Negativa Interrogativa
I had been buying I hadn't been buying Had I been buying?
You had been buying You hadn't been buying Had you been buying?
She had been buying She hadn't been buying Had she been buying?
We had been buying We hadn't been buying Had we been buying?
They had been buying They hadn't been buying Had they been buying?