Hello everybody!

I'm always confused about using PPC when talking about events that lasted for a long time in the past, for example

My sister was knitting/has been knitting/had been knitting/knit all morning long.

When can we use PPC instead of past simple when talking about something happened in the past with a long time duration? Could it be Past Perfect Continuous?

Many thanks.
fattyshankWhen can we use PPC instead of past simple when talking about something happened in the past with a long time duration?
Use the present perfect when the activity is of recent interest. Typically this means that the action is not yet completed.

My sister has been knitting all morning. (Implies that it is still morning and she continues to knit.)

My sister was knitting all morning. (Implies that it is now later in the day and she is not knitting now.)

He has been studying for his degree for at least ten years. (He still is studying.)

Use past perfect when there is another past (relative) action that came later. It implies an action that was interrupted.

My sister had been knitting all morning, but she stopped at noon to prepare lunch.

My sister had been knitting all morning to make as much progress as possible before her friends arrived.

He had been studying for his degree for years before he finally decided to quit and start a business.

We had been travelling for hours before we decided to take a break.
My sister knit all morning long. [Past]

My sister was knitting all morning long. [Past Continuous]

My sister has been knitting all morning long. [Present Perfect Continous]

My sister had been knitting all morning long. [Past Perfect Continuous]

Past tense implies the action/event is and has been finished completely.

Your sister knit all morning long, but it is no longer morning so she is no longer knitting.

Past Continuous tense is simmilar to past tense, but tends to indicate a specific time. Meaning the action/event was happening up until the point being talked about in the sentence. Usually this is used to talk about an interruption in the event. Simple past tense should be used if no interruption or specific time is indicated.

Your sister was knitting when the phone rang.

Your sister was knitting at 7:00am this morning.

Present Perfect Continuous indicates that the action/event that is ongoing.

Your sister has been knitting all morning long and she is still going strong.

Past Perfect Continuous indicates that the action/event that had been ongoing but has since stopped.

Your sister had been knitting all morning long, but now she is done.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?

Typically this means that the action is not yet completed.
Yes, I think as well but I often hear people say "I've been writing (a books/story) all night" when it's already morning/afternoon or even later. They completed their action of writing but yet talk using PPC.
I often hear people say "I've been writing (a books/story) all night" when it's already morning/afternoon or even later.

Yikes! Stop listening to them. Or tell them to stop saying things that way! Emotion: big smile

CJ
Hi, CJ! Please, help me figure this out. I may be wrong but I do hear people say it that way. And I also heard something about using PPC when an action is over to emphasize feelings about their success or luck. Or we should never use PPC when an action of doing something is done? Thanks.
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fattyshankI may be wrong but I do hear people say it that way.
People use incorrect grammar when they speak on a regular basis, but that does not mean that you have to emulate them.

Emotion: big smile
fattyshank. And I also heard something about using PPC when an action is over to emphasize feelings about their success or luck. Or we should never use PPC when an action of doing something is done?
It is an expression of frustration ...

Maybe you are thinking about a situation like this one:

I have been working on my car's engine for nearly a week, and still have not located the annoying noise that it makes.

The person is not presently working on the engine; he's in a bar with friends, but he has not indicated that he is finished trying to deal with the problem.