Past Perfect Progressive in Spanish
The past perfect progressive tense (el pretérito pluscuamperfecto continuo), also known as the past perfect continuous, is used to talk about an action that started in the past and continued up until another time in the past. Although it is commonly used by native Spanish speakers, it technically does not exist.
How to Form the Past Perfect Progressive Tense
Even though the past perfect progressive is not officially a tense, it is commonly used to express a continuous action that was completed at some point in the past. It is formed by combining the auxiliary verb haber(to have) in the imperfect with the past participle of estar(to be), followed by the gerund of the main action in the sentence.
Past Perfect Progressive Formula
haber in the imperfect tense + past participle of estar + gerund
Let’s take a look at some examples!
Alternatives to the Past Perfect Progressive Tense
Since the past perfect progressive isn't officially recognized as a tense, let's explore a few more grammatical alternatives.
The first alternative is to just use the past perfect tense.
To really emphasize the duration of a past action before another action interrupted it, you can use one of the following time expressions:
Time Expression with Hacer
hacía + time + que + verb in the imperfect tense
Time Expression with Llevar
llevar in the imperfect tense + time + gerund
Tense about tenses in Spanish? Never fear! Read about other tenses in Spanish in these articles:
- First, click here to learn about the present perfect progressive, which is another tense that doesn't technically exist in Spanish!