Which sentence is correct?

I had been waiting here for two hours until you finally arrived.

I was waiting here for two hours until you finally arrived.

Which one is correct?

How does one know whether to use past perfect continuous or past continuous?

  • 2
    I'm sure there must have been many questions on this topic. I would use was waiting... until or had been waiting... when. (The arrival marks the end of the waiting period.) Feb 11, 2020 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


Both are correct. The second one is probably more idiomatic, but a lot depends on context.

The past perfect is usually (usually does not mean "always") used in narrative description. The main use of the past perfect is to speak of background and events that have now stopped or completed.

The past perfect is less used in spoken English, but more used in written English - particularly stories, because these require descriptions of background and context, etc.

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