Just would like to know if I can say

because of the cov19? my shop has been closing down for two days

I think it is not possible to use the continuous because what we emphasize here is also the result but I am not sure

  • 1
    Only if the process of closing the shop has taken two days! If it closed two days ago, say it has been closed for two days. Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 11:43
  • could you explain me why
    – Yves Lefol
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 13:03
  • My shop has been closing down for two days means that the closing has been a gradual process which started two days ago. I don't know if that is what you meant to say. Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


The verb "to close" indicates that something is changing state from being open to being closed. This is usually something that happens fairly quickly, and after that the thing is just "closed". Using the present continuous form would mean one of two things:

  1. The process or activity of closing has been going on for a while up to now, and it still isn't actually finished yet (it never did become fully closed).
  2. The shop has been repeatedly closing over and over again over a period of time.

So, for example:

That store says it's going out of business. It's been closing for two weeks now but it still seems to be as busy as ever. (sense 1)

The store usually closes at 9pm, but they don't have enough staff, so it's been closing early for the past few days. (sense 2)

However, in the case of your example, you probably didn't intend that your shop is still in the process of closing (it presumably closed two days ago and has stayed closed ever since), and you probably also didn't mean that it's been opening and closing repeatedly over those two days, so in this case what you want to use is the present continuous tense of "to be" (expressing a state, not an action) with the adjective "closed" (or "closed down"), instead:

Because of the COVID-19, my shop has been closed down for two days.

  • in the first example you mean that within the two weeks it has closed and reopened then closed and reopened . Or do you mean that within this period it has been always closed. In my example we can think that the shop is going to re opened once the situation has been back to normal so may be continuous will be ok this is a temporary situation
    – Yves Lefol
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 17:07
  • Neither. The first example says that it has been in the process of closing for two weeks (in this sense, we're talking about "closing" as meaning "shutting down permanently", and that activity of going out of business ("closing") was started two weeks ago, but has been taking a while to actually finish).
    – Foogod
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 17:08
  • ok got it the process of closing has been lasted for two weeks and it is not finished before they really shut down but if the closing is temporary like in my example can we use the continuous
    – Yves Lefol
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 17:12
  • in fact I dont think that you can use continuous even if the closing is temporary but could you confirm it
    – Yves Lefol
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 17:17
  • Right. The duration of how long something stays closed doesn't matter. The point here is that "to close" is an action, so if you use the continuous form with that verb, it means somebody has been performing that action the entire time. If you want to express the state of being closed, rather than the action of making something become closed, then you need to use "has been" (continuous of "to be") + "closed" (adjective describing a state, not the action)
    – Foogod
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 17:21

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