It (rained /was raining) for three days. The farmers were happy to water their land.

What is the right answer?

Original Post
Emad Ragheb posted:

It (rained /was raining) for three days. The farmers were happy to water their land.

What is the right answer?

Hello, Emad,

Both answers work in the first sentence:

(1) It rained for three days.
(2) It was raining for three days.

The more normal, matter-of-fact sentence is (1). Sentence (2) has the same basic meaning, but the past progressive there conveys that the speaker found the period to be rather long and is suggestive of slight irritation about the weather.

What makes the sentence pair of the example strange is the second sentence, which doesn't work in the context of the first, no matter which answer is chosen. The test question was probably not reviewed by a native speaker of English.

In "The farmers were happy to water their land," the farmers do the watering, not the rain. it should be changed either to "The farmers were happy to be able to water their land" or to "The farmers were happy to have their land watered."

David, Moderator posted:
Emad Ragheb posted:

It (rained /was raining) for three days. The farmers were happy to water their land.

What is the right answer?

Hello, Emad,

Both answers work in the first sentence:

(1) It rained for three days.
(2) It was raining for three days.

The more normal, matter-of-fact sentence is (1). Sentence (2) has the same basic meaning, but the past progressive there conveys that the speaker found the period to be rather long and is suggestive of slight irritation about the weather.

What makes the sentence pair of the example strange is the second sentence, which doesn't work in the context of the first, no matter which answer is chosen. The test question was probably not reviewed by a native speaker of English.

In "The farmers were happy to water their land," the farmers do the watering, not the rain. it should be changed either to "The farmers were happy to be able to water their land" or to "The farmers were happy to have their land watered."

What about the past perfect progressive to be the correct choice here as it is used to refer to an action whose duration caused visible results at a later point of time in the past. It had been raining for 3 days  (that's the action whose duration caused the resut which in the second sentence) the farmers were very happy that their fields were watered . Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Mr.Musa

Hi, Mr. Musa,

I still see that the past simple is the best choice here. I think if you use the past perfect progressive here, there will be a clash with David's correction of the second sentence.

- It had been raining for three days. (This means the rain was still going on then and no one knew when it would stop). The farmers were happy to have their land watered. (This means the process of watering the land was finished). How can watering the land be finished while the first action is still going on? I think to use the past perfect progressive here correctly, you need to make another change to the second sentence.

- It had been raining for three days.The farmers were happy to be having their land watered.

Mr.Musa posted:

Hi mr Ahmed 

How can I keep in touch with Mr David 

David will be here soon, I'm sure. He seems so busy these days and his time is just very limited right now.

ahmed_btm posted:
Mr.Musa posted:

Hi mr Ahmed 

How can I keep in touch with Mr David 

David will be here soon, I'm sure. He seems so busy these days and his time is just very limited right now.

Yes, thank you. I apologize for the delay. Please allow a day or two for a response. While I like to monitor the forum fairly continuously when not asleep, my various responsibilities do not always permit me to do so. When I have to choose between the forum and things which I get paid to do—or which affect loved ones in my life, or which impact my future—the forum takes a back seat.

Mr.Musa posted:

It had been raining for 3 days  [. . .] The farmers were very happy that their fields were watered.

Yes, I agree with you, Mr. Musa, that that sentence works. While I appreciate Ahmed_btm's commentary, and his pointing out that you changed the second sentence from what the second sentence was in the original, I think that he may be overlooking the fact that the past perfect progressive need not imply that the action continued. Compare:

  • I am so glad it is sunny. It has been raining for days.
  • I was so glad it was sunny. It had been raining for days.

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×