1

Would they be both correct and equal in the same context (just to mention the fact) if I said TODAY:

(1)It has been raining all day.

(2)It is raining all day.

Would they be both correct and equal in the same context (just to mention the fact) if I said TOMORROW (about today):

(3)It had been raining all day yesterday.

(4)It was raining all day yesterday.

1

In your first example you can only use the first sentence with the present perfect progressive verb form "has been raining" because you are speaking about something that began in the past, and has continued to the present.

The present tense "It is raining" says only that it is raining right now, and is not appropriately used in sentence #2. Saying something has been happening "all day" is referring to a continuous action that began in the past, rather than only in the present.

In the second example, you would generally use "was raining". You would only want to use "had been raining yesterday", if you were going to follow up with something else, for example:

"It had been raining all day yesterday, when my friend asked me why I looked so gloomy."

... or perhaps if you were responding to something else that had already been said.

Person A: Why didn't you take the dog out for a walk yesterday?

Person B: It had been raining all day yesterday. I didn't want to be outside.

But you would not use that form by itself to express to someone that it has been raining all day today, or was raining all day yesterday.

  • "The present tense "It is raining" says only that it is raining RIGHT NOW"--> doesn't "It is raining"(and generally, present continuous) refer to time period AROUND NOW too? That is, I wonder, if I can concern "all day" as the time period around now? If not, approximately what length of time is meant in this term: "around now"(which is used in grammar books, to explain the situations of using present continuous)? – ანო ანო Mar 7 at 9:15
  • 1
    Yes, it doesn't refer to only "precisely now / this moment". It can also refer to things around the present. But it is generally not used when referring to long spans of time leading up to the present (like saying that something has been happening all day, and is still happening). When someone says "It is raining.", it might have been raining all day, or it might have just begun. You only know that is that it is currently raining. However, to talk about something that started in the past and continues in the present, you want to use the present perfect progressive. – J. Taylor Mar 7 at 9:29
  • 1
    @ანოანო The time period of all day cannot refer to right now. Either all day is something that has already happened (past tense) or something that will happen (future tense). A period of either 12 or 24 hours (depending on how you interpret day) cannot be in the present. – Jason Bassford Mar 7 at 20:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.