Past Perfect Continuous

"They had not been talking for three days until she called him."

The past perfect continuous describes an action in the past which lies ahead of a younger action in the past and is used to empathize the duration of the action. Typical indication words for the past perfect continuous can be „for/since“ and „the whole day/all day“. However the past perfect continuous does not exist in German.

Formation

subject + auxiliary „had“ (+ not) + past participle of „be“ (been) + infinite verb + „- ing“

Example:

  • He had been talking for two hours before I left.
  • We had not been going out all day.

 

Formation of questions:

(question word +) auxiliary had (+ not) + past participle of be + infinite verb + „- ing“

Examples:

  • How long had she been playing the piano?
  • How long had he been talking?

Das Past Perfect Contiuous beschreibt eine Handlung in der Vergangenheit, welche einer jüngeren Handlung in der Vergangenheit voraus liegt und wird verwendet um die Dauer einer Handlung zu betonen. Typische Signalwörter für das Past Perfect Continuous können „seit“ (= for/since) oder „den ganzen Tag“ (= the whole day/all day) sein. Das Past Perfect Continuous existiert im Deutschen jedoch nicht.

Bildung:

Subjekt + Hilfsverb „had“ (+ not) + Partizip II von „be“ (been) + ungebeugtes Verb + „- ing“

Example:

  • He had been talking for two hours before I left. (Er hatte zwei Stunden lang geredet bevor ich gegangen bin.)
  • We had not been going out all day. (Wir waren den ganzen Tag nicht nach draußen gegangen.)

 

Bildung von Fragen:

(Fragewort +) Hilfverb „had“ (+ not) + Partizip II von „be“ + ungebeugtes Verb + „-ing“

Beispiele:

  • How long had she been playing the piano? (Wie lange hatte sie Klavier gespielt?)
  • How long had he been talking? (Wie lange hatte er gesprochen?)

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