(You can learn about the past perfect continuous here.)

She'd been waiting for an hour (past perfect continuous).

Practice 1: making the past perfect continuous

Complete these sentences with the word(s) in brackets using just the past perfect continuous. Remember to use contractions (I'd not I had) where possible.

  1. He was bored because all day. (it, rain)
  2. Her English was good because it for years. (she, study)
  3. I knew that my shampoo without asking. (he, use)
  4. We didn't know what to do because to the teacher. (we, not, listen)
  5. Before the accident, ? (he, drink?)

Note: in questions 1 - 4 above, the past perfect simple is also possible. In question 3, the meaning is different for simple and continuous forms - he used the shampoo once (he'd used my shampoo), or many times (he'd been using my shampoo). In question 5, you need the past perfect continuous not simple, because 'had been drinking' means he had more than one alcoholic drink.

Practice 2: differences in past perfect simple and continuous

Choose the best tense (past perfect simple or continuous) to complete the following sentences. Again, remember to use contractions. And remember that simple tenses are used for states or short, finished actions when we say how many. Continuous is used for long, unfinished or repeated actions. Finally, remember that sometimes both are possible, especially when it was both a long activity (continuous), and was finished (simple).

  1. He was hungry because anything all day. (he, not, eat)
  2. Her hand started hurting because computer games all day. (she, play)
  3. The milk smelt bad because to put it in the fridge. (I, forget)
  4. TV for hours before he fell asleep. (he, watch)
  5. She didn't know that her. (I, always, love)
  6. She was delighted because her wish true. (come)
  7. for 40 years before he decided to stop. (he, smoke)
  8. down with a book when the phone rang. (I, just, sit)