Past perfect continued for something we had done several times up to a point in the past and continued to do after that point: He was a wonderful guitarist. He had been playing ever since he was a teenager. He had written three books and he was working on another one. I had been watching the programme every week, but I missed the last episode . . We often use a clause with since to show when something started in the past: They had been staying with us since the previous week I was sorry when the factory closed. I had worked there since l left school I had been watching that programme every week since it started, but I missed the last episode.
when we are reporting our experience and including up to the (then) present My eighteenth birthday was the worst day I had ever had. I was pleased to meet George. I hadn't met him before, even though I had met his wife several times. for something that happened in the past but is important at the time of reporting: I couldn't get into the house. I had lost my keys. Teresa wasn't at home. She had gone shopping. We use the past perfect to talk about the past in conditions, hypotheses and wishes: I would have helped him if he had asked. It was very dangerous. What if you had got lost? I wish I hadn't spent so much money last month. . . .
We use the past perfect continuous to show that something had been continuing up to a time in the past or was important at that time in the past: Everything was wet. It had been raining for hours. He was a wonderful guitarist. He had been playing ever since he was a teenager
We use would with the perfect to refer to something that did not happen in the past but would have happened if the conditions had been right: If you had asked me I would have helped you. l would have helped vou, but you didn't ask me. You didn't ask me orl would have helped you,
The future in the past When we talk about the future from a time in the past we use: would as the past tense of will He thought he would buy one the next day. Everyone was excited. The party would be fun was/were going to John was going to drive and Mary was going to follow on her bicycle. It was Friday. We were going to set off the next day. * the past continuous: It was September. Mary was starting school the next week. We were very busy. The shop was opening in two weeks' time.