Forming El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto Progresivo with estar + gerund (pluperfect progressive)

Every Spanish past tense has a continuous (progressive) form to express an action which is continuing or ongoing in the past.

In the case of El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto, this is how the progressive tense is formed.

It follows this pattern for most regular verbs:

Estar in El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto +

-ando (-AR verbs)

 

-iendo (-ER and -IR verbs)

It works the same way as the English pluperfect progressive, "had been doing". But remember it is "estar" and not "ser".

Look at and listen to these examples:

Yo había estado bailando con Carlos.
I had been dancing with Carlos.

habías estado jugando al rugby en el parque.
You had been playing rugby in the park.

Ella había estado practicando su discurso.
She had been practising her speech.

Nosotros habíamos estado tomando café con unos amigos.
We had been having coffee with some friends.

Vosotros habíais estado bromeando con las chicas.
You [plural] had been joking around with the girls.

Ellos habían estado organizando todos los preparativos de la boda.
They had been organising all the wedding preparations.



ESTAR in
El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto 

Verbs ending in -AR
LLAMAR (to call)

Verbs ending in -ER-IR
APRENDER (to learn)
VIVIR (to live)

había estado

llamando


aprendiendo
viviendo



habías estado

había estado

habíamos estado

habíais estado

habían estado

For irregular gerunds see List of Spanish Irregular Gerunds of the form -iendo and List of Spanish Irregular Gerunds of the form -yendo

See also: Forming El Pretérito Perfecto Progresivo with estar + gerund (present perfect progressive)

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ella había estado practicando su discurso.
She had been practising her speech.


Yo había estado bailando con Carlos.
I had been dancing with Carlos.


Ellos habían estado organizando todos los preparativos de la boda.
They had been organising all the wedding preparations.


Vosotros habíais estado bromeando con las chicas.
You [plural] had been joking around with the girls.


Nosotros habíamos estado tomando café con unos amigos.
We had been having coffee with some friends.


habías estado jugando al rugby en el parque.
You had been playing rugby in the park.


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