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Past Perfect Continuous is used to talk about an event that happened in the past and continued happening until a second moment in the past. The action that came first is the past perfect (or, past of the past). We can identify the past perfect continuous by its structure.

The structure for perfect forms is (have + verb in past participle), and structure for continuous form is (verb to be + verb -ing).

Adding these structures (have + [to be in past participle = been] + verb -ing).

Thus, the structure for past perfect continuous is (auxiliary verb 'have' in past = had + [to be in past participle = been] + verb -ing):

Had been + verb in -ING

She went to the doctor because she had been having terrible headaches.

Where had she been staying?

They had not been working for long before the results appeared.


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