English Grammar Exercises for B2 – Past perfect simple and continuous

1. Match the sentence halves. Complete sentences a-f with the past perfect continuous.

1) hand was hurting because I ___

2) Jenny had tears in her eyes because she ___

3) They had to give their dog a bath because it ___

4) Beth felt confident about her exams because she ___

5) We got evicted from our flat because we ___

6) Tom decided not to go out because he ___

a _______ (write) postcards all morning.

b _______ (play) in a muddy field.

c _______ (not feel) well.

d _______ (not pay) our rent.

e _______ (watch) a hilarious film.

f _______ (work) hard all term.

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1)  a , had been writing   2e , had been watching

3 b , had been playing   4f , had been working

5 d , hadn’t been paying   6c , hadn’t been feeling

2. Invent your own endings for these sentences. Use the past perfect continuous.

1) Eva’s hair and clothes were wet because ________.

2) Darren was angry with his sister because ________.

3) We were exhausted because ________.

4) The house was a mess because ________.

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Your own answers

3. Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first sentence. Use the past perfect simple.

1) I ate dinner, then I went upstairs.

 After ___ I’d eaten dinner, I went upstairs. ____ .

2) I had a shower, then Susie arrived.

 When Susie ________

3) We swapped numbers, and the next day he called.

  The day after ________

4) She tidied her room, then she went out.

  After she ________

5) She missed the class, so she didn’t do the homework.

  Because she ________

6) He finished his dinner and washed up his plate.

      When he ________

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2) arrived, I had had a shower

3) we had swapped numbers, he called

4) had tidied her room, she went out

5) had missed the class, she didn’t do the homework.

6) had finished his dinner, he washed up his plate

4. Choose the correct tense. Tick ✓ a, b or both (if both are correct).

1) Sara hadn’t heard me knock at the door because she ____________ to music.

a had listened      b had been listening

2) Before their goalkeeper was sent off, Chelsea ____________ easily.

a had won      b had been winning

3) Ben ____________ so much during the meal that he hadn’t eaten his food.

a had talked      b had been talking

4) We didn’t know what homework we had to do because we ____________ attention to the teacher.

a hadn’t paid      b hadn’t been paying

5) I was really annoyed that I left book on the train because I ____________ reading it.

a hadn’t finished      b hadn’t been finishing

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1) b   2) b   3) a and b   4) a and b   5) a

5. Complete the sentences with the past perfect simple or past perfect continuous form of the verbs in the box.

enjoy      go      have      look      spend      win

1) I was annoyed when the DVD player stopped working because I ____________ the film.

2) Selina had to come home early from her holiday because she ____________ all her money.

3) According to the police, the accident happened because both cars ____________ too fast.

4) In the first round he played Nadal, who ____________ the tournament three times already.

5) dad retired early from his job because he ____________ a bad back for years.

6) I found five coins down the back of the sofa, although in fact I ____________ for keys.

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1) had been enjoying   2) had spent   3) had been going

4) had won 5) had had   6) had been looking


Complete these sentences with your own ideas. Use the past perfect simple in 1 and 2, and the past perfect continuous in 3 and 4.

1) Police arrested the 85-year-old woman because ________.

2) By the time we reached the hotel, ________.

3) Luke refused to spend another moment at home because ________.

4) Elsie suddenly realised her mistake: she ________.