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 +Subject + HAD + BEEN + Gerund + Object

 - Subject + HAD NOT (HADN'T) + BEEN + Gerund + Object

 ? HAD + Subject + BEEN + Gerund + Object?

The Past Perfect Continuous is formed of the auxiliary verb have in the past (HAD) with the participle of to be (BEEN) with the action verb in the continuous form. 

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We use the Past Perfect Continuous to talk about an action that started in the past and continued until a more recent moment in the past. 

The Past Perfect Continuous is used to focus on two ideas:

How long an activity was happening before a moment in the past

I had been counting my money for an hour before she arrived.

The cause of a situation or activity in a moment in the past

The grass wet. It had been raining before the match.

The past perfect is almost always used in tandem with another tense.

Notice in the previous examples that the past perfect continuous is used alongside a past simple. 

We often use this tense with adverbs such as before, for, since


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