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Unit 16. Past Perfect Continuous (I had been doing)
(прошедшее совершенное продолженное время)

Study this example situation:
 
Unit 16. Past Perfect Continuous (I had been doing) Yesterday morning I got up and looked out of the window. The sun was shining but the ground was very wet.
 
It had been raining.
 
It was not raining when I looked out of the window; the sun was shining. But it had been raining before. That's why the ground was wet.
 
Had been -ing is the Past Perfect Continuous:
I/ we/ they/ you
he/ she/ it
had (= I'd etc.)
(= he'd etc.)
been doing
working
playing etc.

Some more examples: You can say that something had been happening for a period of time before something else happened: Had been -ing (Past Perfect Continuous) is the past of have been -ing (Present Perfect Continuous).
Compare:
 
Unit 16. Past Perfect Continuous (I had been doing)
  • I hope the bus comes soon. I've been waiting for 20 minutes. (before now)
  • He's out of breath. He has been running.
Unit 16. Past Perfect Continuous (I had been doing)
  • At last the bus came. I'd been waiting for 20 minutes. (before the bus came)
  • He was out of breath. He had been running.

Compare had been doing and was doing (Past Continuous): Some verbs (for example, know and want) are not normally used in the continuous: For a list of these verbs, see Unit 4. Present Continuous and Present Simple (2) (I am doing and I do)
(настоящее продолженное и простое настоящее времена 2).
 
See Unit 9. Present Perfect Continuous (I have been doing)
(настоящее совершенное продолженное время).
See Unit 15. Past Perfect (I have done)
(прошедшее совершенное время).
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