Paul had been cycling quiet (quite) fast until he reached the hill

Bob8964

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

The following is a sample about the past perfect continuous from Advance Grammar in Use:

Paul had been cycling quiet fast until he reached the hill.

Please kindly advise if "had been cycling" is used to express an activity that had just stopped and if I can put it in a context as below:

Paul was very out of breath. He had been cycling quiet fast until he reached the hill.
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Not really, the key concept here is about speed. He is still cycling, but his speed has changed, hills slow you down, he may or may not be out of breath.
     

    Bob8964

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Yes, it is "quite". Thanks a lot for reminding! But, I always find there are a lot of cases in which the past continuous is used with "until", for example:

    I was reading until midnight last night.

    He was looking nervous until I told him to sit down.

    So I wonder why the past perfect continuous, not the past continuous, is used in the original sentence.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    The tense is chosen to mark it out from the next event, which may only be implied, he had been cycling fast until he reached the hill and slowed down.
     
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