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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    as it was snowing continuously for the past days

    My answer: As it was snowing continuously for the past days, many parts of the city were not accessible.

    The answer key says ‘had been snowing’. Why is ‘was snowing’ incorrect?

    Thank you!

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: as it was snowing continuously for the past days

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    My answer: As it was snowing continuously for the past days, many parts of the city were not accessible.

    The answer key says ‘had been snowing’. Why is ‘was snowing’ incorrect?

    Thank you!
    That's a hard one. Good question. Two things:

    1. The grammar

    The were tells us that we're looking at a point of time in the past: a day when parts of the city were not accessible.

    When we say "had been snowing," it means that the snow began earlier and was still snowing snowing on that day. It means that the snow (a) had started before that day and (b) had not stopped yet.

    2. the phrasing

    It's not natural to say "the past days." We might say something like:

    - As it had been snowing coninuously for the past ten days, many parts . . . .

    - As it had been snowing coninuously for many (several, a few, countless, untold, too many) days, many parts . . . .

    - As it had been snowing coninuously for days, many parts . . . .
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. teechar's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: as it was snowing continuously for the past days

    Where did you find that question? "For the past" days makes it sound unnatural and potentially incorrect.

    [cross-posted]

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    #4

    Re: as it was snowing continuously for the past days

    You've provided two answers but you didn't tell us the question.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: as it was snowing continuously for the past days

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post
    the past few days
    It works with few, but it sounds odd without it in BrE.

  6. Senior Member
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    #6

    Re: as it was snowing continuously for the past days

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Where did you find that question? "For the past" days makes it sound unnatural [cross-posted]
    My bad...I had left out the word "few" which was in the original question. I thought "past days" was okay.

  7. Senior Member
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    #7

    Re: as it was snowing continuously for the past days

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Where did you find that question? [cross-posted]
    So sorry teechar, I have been doing grammar exercises randomly and I cannot remember where I had come across this question. Oftentimes, I gather questions that I’m unsure and then I ask when I have the time to log on. Sorry that I truly cannot remember the source of this grammar question.

    What is the meaning of cross-posted?

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: as it was snowing continuously for the past days

    When we say "cross-posted", it means that we realise we have written a post at almost exactly the same time as someone else wrote a post. It explains why, occasionally, two almost identical responses appear. We like to make it clear that we had not seen the other response when we posted our response.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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