# Can present continuous express a duration

I know that normally durations are expressed by perfect tenses but is it possible too use the present continuous to express a duration

we are having the lockdown for weeks instead of we have been having the lockdown for weeks . We are allowed to go out here in Spain since last saturday instead of we have been allowed to go out here in Spain since the last saturday.

If it is possible to change could you explain me when it is possible to make this change

• We are (still) having the lockdown now, but we have been having the lockdown for weeks now. – user29952 May 5 '20 at 8:03

## 1 Answer

YOu can use present continuous to express a duration, but the duration must be the total time from start to end, not the time from start to now.

We are having the lockdown for six weeks

This means that the total time of the lockdown (start to end) will be six weeks, but it hasn't finished yet. (It may not actually have started yet, as present can also be used to express future events, but that's another matter.)

We have been having the lockdown for six weeks

This means that the lockdown started six weeks ago (start to now): it doesn't specify when the lockdown will end.

We are allowed to go out here in Spain since last Saturday

This doesn't make sense, because since doesn't specify a total duration... if specifies the time since start. You must use present perfect with since.