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Past Perfect Continuous Tense (Past Perfect Progressive)

Definizione di Past Perfect Continuous (Past Perfect Progressive) 

Il Past Perfect Continuous (noto anche come Past Perfect Progressive) è un tempo verbale della lingua inglese molto simile al Present Perfect Continuous, che si riferisce a un periodo di tempo anteriore al momento presente.

Il Past Perfect Continuous si focalizza sul processo con cui si svolge un’azione, così come avviene nel Present Perfect Continuous, infatti viene utilizzato per indicare un'azione che è iniziata nel passato ed è continuata fino a un certo punto, sempre nel passato.

Questo tempo verbale viene utilizzato anche nel discorso indiretto, invece nel discorso diretto corrisponde al Past Continuous e al Present Perfect Continuous.

Come si forma il past perfect continuous

Il Past Perfect Continuous si forma usando had + been + il participio presente in inglese.

Tabella 1: forma affermativa, negativa e interrogativa del Past Perfect Continuous (Past Perfect Progressive) del verbo regolare to cook.
Forma affermativaForma negativaForma interrogativa
Forma completaForma contrattaForma completaForma contratta
I had been cookingI'd been cookingI had not been cookingI hadn't been cookingHad I been cooking?
You had been cookingYou'd been cookingYou had not been cookingYou hadn't been cookingHad you been cooking?
He had been cookingHe'd been cookingHe had not been cookingHe hadn't been cookingHad he been cooking?
She had been cookingShe'd been cookingShe had not been cookingShe hadn't been cookingHad she been cooking?
It had been cookingIt'd been cookingIt had not been cookingIt hadn't been cookingHad it been cooking?
We had been cookingWe'd been cookingWe had not been cookingWe hadn't been cookingHad we been cooking?
You had been cookingYou'd been cookingYou had not been cookingYou hadn't been cookingHad you been cooking?
They had been cookingThey'd been cookingThey had not been cookingThey hadn't been cookingHad they been cooking?

Exercise n 81. Costruisci delle frasi negative e affermative partendo dalle seguenti frasi affermative.

Per esempio: 

  • I had been studying English for 6 months before I managed to have a short conversation with an Englishman.
    I hadn’t  been studying English for 6 months before I managed to have a short conversation with an Englishman. Had you been studying English for 6 months before I managed to have a short conversation with an Englishman?
  1. We had already been walking in the mountains for 2 hours by 10 am. 
  2. It had been snowing for 10 hours by the time ski slopes got closed. 
  3. They had been trying to resolve the problem for 20 minutes when you came to help me. 
  4. They had been discussing the new agreement for 30 minutes when I arrived. 
  5. They had been waiting for the doctor for 20 minutes when I received his call. 
  6. She had been studying for two weeks before she felt ready to take the exam.  
  7. My sister had been learning Spanish for 6 months by the time she went to Barcelona. 
  8. They had been talking for 40 minutes before the line was cut off. 
  9. He had been practicing yoga for 4 years by 2021. 
  10. Brian had been working for 10 hours when he stopped seeing the letters. 

Exercise n 82. Trasforma le seguenti frasi affermative in frasi interrogative, come mostrato nell’esempio.

Per esempio:

  • He got pain in the back because he had been carrying heavy bags all day (boxes).
    Had he been carrying heavy bags or boxes all day?
  1. They had been preparing the holiday dinner for 3 hours when I came (lunch). 
  2. It had been pouring with rain all day yesterday (snowing).
  3. His eyes hurt because he had been working all day (playing video games). 
  4. The Simpsons had been living in the same house for twelve years before they decided to move (eleven). 
  5. I had been working out for 10 minutes when the coach came. (lazying around).

Exercise n 83. Trasforma le seguenti frasi affermative in domande speciali, utilizzando le parole indicate tra parentesi.

Per esempio: 

  • We had been brainstorming for 2 hours when they got enough ideas (What).
    What had you been doing for 2 hours?
  1. Mr. Thomson had been washing his car for 20 minutes when the storm started (Who). 
  2. She had been driving for some minutes before she understood that she had a flat tyre (What). 
  3. James had been working at the theatre for more than a year before he left for Los Angeles (Where).  
  4. Lily was tired because she had been working out too long (Who). 
  5. Nick had been waiting for 15 minutes when Marissa came (How long).

Exercise n 84.  Trasforma le seguenti frasi affermative in frasi contenenti le tag questions.

Per esempio:

  • It had been pouring for several hours. At the end, the river flooded the street.
    I had been pouring for several hours, hadn’t it?
  1. Mike came home exhausted yesterday. He had been painting the fence the whole day. 
  2. My colleagues were sleepy. They had been partying all night. 
  3. It had been raining all night yesterday. 
  4. Katie had been studying for two months before she could play the music piece perfectly well. 
  5. We had been talking about Anthony for some minutes when he phoned!

Quando si usa il Past Perfect Continuous

  1. Per parlare di un’azione che ha una durata limitata e che si svolge nel passato.
    Marina had been waiting for you for 2 hours before leaving.
  2. Per parlare di un'azione nel passato che ha una durata precisa e che è collegata a un’altra avvenuta dopo. Per esempio:
    The house was perfectly clean when new lodgers arrived. I had been cleaning it myself for 4 hours!

Exercise n 85. Coniuga i verbi tra parentesi utilizzando il tempo verbale più corretto e motiva la tua scelta.

  1. Claire came home tired and went to take  a shower immediately. She … (jog). 
  2. Cristian’s eyes were red. He … (play) computer games the whole day. 
  3. Dorothy and Ridley had to cancel the honeymoon that they … (look  forward to). 
  4. Professor Grim … (work) at the university for 13 years when he got retired. 
  5. They ... (fight) till the police came. 
  6. Kyle failed his exam even though … (prepare) for it for months. 
  7. You … (sleep) for 10 hours before I woke you up! You should have got angry!
  8. How long …you … (knead) the dough before putting it into the oven?
  9. My feet hurt because I … (walk) around Rome for hours. 
  10. I got bored because nothing … (happen) in the film for 20 minutes.

Exercise n 86. Traduci queste frasi usando il Past Perfect o Past Simple.

  1. Nel 2019 c’erano dieci anni da quando lavoravo come l’insegnante. 
  2. I costumi da consiglio dei bambini erano spettacolari: i genitori avevano già iniziato da settimane a cucire le orecchie e le code. 
  3. Tutta la cucina era sporca. Marco, Luigi e loro papà stavano facendo la pizza. 
  4. Lui stava lavorando sul suo libro da un paio di settimane quando l’ho buttato nel fuoco e ha bruciato tutto. 
  5. Lui stava nuotando da ore quando finalmente ha avvistato la terra. 

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Scritto da

Yulia

Yulia Gurikova

Professional Language Coach

Laureata con lode presso l’Università Federale del Sud di Russia con qualifica professionale di linguista e insegnante, ha proseguito lo studio post-universario ottenendo il dottorato di ricerca (PhD) con stage in USA e in Inghilterra. Ha esperienza di oltre 10 mila ore di insegnamento e language coaching per aiutare i privati e le aziende a raggiungere i loro obiettivi linguistici e professionali.

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