8. Past Perfect - Past Perfect Continuous

8. Past Perfect - Past Perfect Continuous

Tim finds out how his parents first met.

Main Practice:   Past Perfect  -  Past Perfect Continuous
Revision:            used to  -  to go out with someone  -  straight away

Past Perfect - had + past participle
For actions which happen before other actions in the past, i.e.
  • When we got to the theatre the play had already started.
  • She'd wanted to be an astronomer ever since she was a child.
  • After he'd recovered from his injuries he wrote a book about his adventure.

Past Perfect Continuous - had + been + ing
For an action happening over a period of time before another action in the past, i.e.

  • He'd been hoping for a place on the team but the manager chose another player.
  • They'd been waiting for the flight for three hours when the airline said it was cancelled.
  • She'd only been playing chess for a year when she won the local club tournament.

I bet   -     
(Informal) I am sure of something, i.e.
  • I bet it'll rain tomorrow.
  • I bet he passes all his exams.
  • I bet she won't come to the party.
Tim is susprised to discover that his parents met while doing yoga.

Complete the sentences by putting the verbs in the correct tense.

a) Contract:      not    I had   but    I'd
b) One answer requires the *Past Perfect Continuous

:  Dad, where did you first meet Mum?

Bill:  Yoga.

Tim: Yoga?! You guys don't do yoga.

Bill:   Not now, no, but we used to do it at the sports centre. (I want)
            to try yoga for a long time so I went to the class and there was your mum.

Tim:  So you two got together doing yoga postures.

Bill:   That's about it. 

Tim:   And when did you ask mum to marry you?

Bill:   I didn't. She asked me, about a year after (we start)
            going out together.

Tim:  I bet that surprised you.

Bill:   Yes and no. * (think) of asking her but…well, she asked me first.

Tim:   And you said, yes.

Bill:   Straight away, ** (know) she was the woman for me ever since I first saw
** In spoken English these days I knew, (though strictly incorrect) could be used here.


Complete the sentences with the Past Perfect or Past Perfect Continuous.
Likely: 2, 5 would take the continuous form; 6, either.

Remember: use capitals where necessary.

Contract:  I had  =  I'd     they had  =  they'd

1.  When we got to the cinema the film . (start)

2.  James came back from Italy, where Italian. (study)

3.  As soon as I criticised my boss's idea, I knew a mistake. (make)

4.  Most of the guests by the time I got to the party. (leave)

5.  The children were very tired. all afternoon. (play)

6.   to live in Paris for a long time before her company
      offered her a job there. (want)