Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Junior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Nov 2015
    • Posts: 81
    #1

    had rained/ had been raining

    Hello, dear forum users!

    1. It had rained, so there were puddles everywhere.
    2. It had been raining, so there were puddles everywhere.

    What is the difference in the meaning of these sentences?
    And since both perfect simple and continuous talk about the result of an action, can I use both of them in this case?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,514
    #2

    Re: had rained/ had been raining

    In this case, I see little or no difference between the two versions.

    There might be a wider context in which one may be preferable.

  2. Junior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Nov 2015
    • Posts: 81
    #3

    Re: had rained/ had been raining

    And does the usage of Simple mean that the rain was definitely over at the moment of speaking, and Continuous - that the rain might have or might have not been over at the moment of speaking?
    (p.s. please, also tell me if I used the tenses correctly in this post)

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,629
    #4

    Re: had rained/ had been raining

    In both cases the rain has stopped.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  4. Piscean's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 10,021
    #5

    Re: had rained/ had been raining

    I have done a lot of work on tenses and aspects over the last few years, and can now give a pretty solid response to most 'What is the difference between tense/aspect a and tense/aspect b in this sentence?' questions. So far, however, I have been unable to come up with a satisfactory explanation of the difference in meaning, if any, between the progressive and non-progressive forms in sentences such as those Iryn posted.

  5. kilroy65's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Jan 2016
    • Posts: 179
    #6

    Re: had rained/ had been raining

    Quote Originally Posted by Iryn_ View Post


    2. It had been raining, so there were puddles everywhere.
    I have always thought that the use of the present/ past perfect continuous has something to do with duration (the focus is on the duration of the activity):

    "When I arrived, she had been waiting for me for an hour."
    "He has been painting his house for two weeks."

    On second thoughts, however, this might not be the case, considering the OP's example as well as the following one:

    "You smell like alcohol. Have you been drinking?" - It's more like showing "cause and effect".
    Last edited by kilroy65; 13-Feb-2016 at 14:59. Reason: Adding more to the post

  6. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,104
    #7

    Re: had rained/ had been raining

    Quote Originally Posted by kilroy65 View Post
    "You smell like alcohol. Have you been drinking?" - It's more like showing "cause and effect".
    This is relevant. You would not say, "You smell like alcohol. Have you drunk?" It's not a matter of cause and effect, because that applies whatever you use. It is, as you say, duration.
    I would say, "It had been raining,... ", "Have you been drinking". It's more a matter of usage than grammar or meaning.

Similar Threads

  1. It rained/it has been raining all day
    By Arctica1982 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 21-Nov-2014, 18:04
  2. stop raining vs. finish raining
    By miwalko in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 26-Jun-2012, 08:20
  3. It rained
    By sash2008 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-May-2009, 18:55
  4. had been raining, rained
    By joham in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2008, 15:31

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •