Imagine it's raining, and it started one hour ago and it's still raining, which sentence is correct:

  1. It has been raining for one hour

  2. It has rained for one hour

And if we say:

  1. It has been raining.

  2. It has rained.

Are these sentences true for this situation (without for or since) or not?

I think the former two sentences are true, and the first one is better, but we use the latter ones for finished actions or situations (It isn't raining right now).

Am I right?

  • i think u right@aref – Vinothkumar Jul 20 '16 at 11:56
  • 3
    The choice of continuous or not, and perfect or not, in English, is hardly ever associated with a difference in the objective facts. It is almost always in how the speaker is choosing to relate the events temporally. – Colin Fine Jul 20 '16 at 12:52

You are in fact right about the first sentence. Present perfect progressive (continuous) is used for actions that started in the past, and has just ended now or continuing to happen.

The rain started happening in the past (one hour ago) and has still not ended - it's a continuous action, so the correct form is

It has been raining for one hour.

About the second sentence, it is incorrect to use it, as present perfect simple is used for a short (non-continuous) actions that happened in an indefinite time in the past). For example, if there was rain somewhen in the past but you are not sure/do not know/do not care when:

It has rained.


No. 1, yes, in the right context.

I can't get to my car. It's been raining.

Implies that continuous rain has prevented the speaker from getting to the car.

No.2, I can't think of a way that would work without the duration. "for one hour" changes the meaning significantly.


In your scenario that it is still raining, both sentences are correct but it depends on context

Q: Is it raining?
A: It has been raining for an hour.

Q: How long has it been raining?
A: It has rained for an hour.

In your second scenario

It has been raining.

would be understood to mean it is still raining, whereas

It has rained.

would usually be understood to mean it ruined before but has stopped, unless one were to say

Q:What's the weather been doing?
A: It has rained and rained and rained.

which would be understood to mean it is still raining.

  • "It has been VERBing" Could also mean an action which has been repeated several times or recently completed. It depends on context, A: "Why didn't you cut the grass like you said you would?" B: "I couldn't, it's been raining all the time!" – Mari-Lou A Nov 1 '16 at 6:14

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