Perfect Continuous Conditional

Form

In type 3 conditional sentences, the perfect form of the present conditional may be used.

If clause (condition) Main clause (result)
If + past perfect perfect continuous conditional
If this thing had happened that thing would have been happening.

Function

The perfect continuous conditional can be used in type 3 conditional sentences. It refers to the unfulfilled result of the action in the if-clause, and expresses this result as an unfinished or continuous action.

Examples
  • If the weather had been better (but it wasn't), I'd have been sitting in the garden when he arrived (but I wasn't).
  • If she hadn't got a job in London (but she did), she would have been working in Paris (but she wasn't).
  • If I had had a ball I would have been playing football.
  • If I had known it was dangerous I wouldn't have been climbing that cliff.

The perfect continuous conditional tense

The perfect continuous conditional tense of any verb is composed of four elements:
would + have + been + present participle
The present participle is formed by taking the base form of the verb and adding the -ing ending.

Subject + would + have + been + present participle
He would have been staying
They would have been going
To Work: Perfect Continuous Conditional
Affirmative Negative Interrogative Interrogative Negative
I would have been living I wouldn't have been living Would I have been living? Wouldn't I have been living?
You would have been living You wouldn't have been living Would you have been living? Wouldn't you have been living?
He would have been living He wouldn't have been living Would he have been living? Wouldn't he have been living?
She would have been living She wouldn't have been living Would she have been living? Wouldn't she have been living?
We would have been living We wouldn't have been living Would we have been living? Wouldn't we have been living?
They would have been living They wouldn't have been living Would they have been living? Wouldn't they have been living?