It has stopped raining (hasn't rained) for a month.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by wanabee, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Dear all,

    If it rained a month ago and you haven't had rain since then, can you describe it as the following?
    I'm not sure about No.2.

    1. It hasn't rained for a month.
    2. It has stopped raining for a month.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Number 2 is a valid sentence, but none of its possible meanings matches what you say.
     
  3. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, Forero!
    Loob probably said the same thing as you...
    I really hope you will elaborate on that comment, please.:)
     
  4. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    "It hasn't stopped raining for a month." means it has rained continuously for a month.
    "It has stopped raining for a month." means it has stopped continuously for a month. If it stops once, it can't stop again until it starts again therefore it must have rained again and stopped again over and over for a month. It must rain a lot for it to stop raining continuously!
    It stopped raining a month ago. It stopped once and didn't start again.
     
  5. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    You could say something like "I have stopped eating meat for a month". But that would mean something like "I have recently decided I will stop eating meat for the next month".

    It's highly unlikely that the weather-gods will have decided to stop sending rain for the next month.

    That's one reason why (in my view!) sentence (2) doesn't work:).
     
  6. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, Myridon!
    I think I vaguely understand your basic idea, and then I'm beginning to be confused about "It stopped raining for a month." Would the same logic apply to that? (a strange sentence?)
     
  7. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, Loob!
    That seems to be a different perspective and contains another interesting thing for me.
    "It stopped raining for a month." sounds fine?
     
  8. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    The problem is "stop" is an event without duration - so giving it a duration of a month is confusing/wrong/incorrect.
     
  9. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, JulianStuart! :)

    I understand your explanation very well.
    Stop is an event without duration, so "It stopped raining for a month." couldn't mean "the rain stopped and that situation continued for a month."
    I have no objection to that.

    This may be a bit different example, but please take a look;
    "It stopped raining for a while, but now it's raining again." makes me wonder if it implies that the rain stopped and that situation continued for a while.

    And if my interpretation is not wrong, then, I think the original "It has stopped raining for a month." could be explained the same way.
    I now know that native speakers don't use the sentence, or at least they can't come up with a realistic situation the sentence fits.
    But I would like to hear some advice about that.

    I appreciate your help very much.
     
  10. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Hi again, wanabee

    Yes, the problem is really, as you suggest, finding a situation where your sentence would work.

    It's easy enough to find a context for "It stopped raining for a while": Saturday was terrible - it rained all day. Well, it stopped raining for a while around 5 o'clock, but it soon started again.

    I've been asking myself whether your sentence would work in the context of a planet where it always rains, year after year after year, and then it suddenly and surprisingly stops raining for a month. Even then, I can't imagine anyone saying "It has stopped raining for a month": they'd say something like "It hasn't rained for a whole month!"
     
  11. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, Loob.:)
    And also, I'm sorry for being persistent...:(

    The word "stop" in your sentence below includes both concepts of "the stop took place" and "then the stopped status lasted for a while"?
    "it stopped raining for a while around 5 o'clock, but it soon started again."
     
  12. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    What about the situation as described in James 5:17, 'Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years' (referring to the story of Elijah in 1 Kings)?

    I could say, 'it stopped raining for three and a half years' to describe that situation, and I see someone else describes it similarly:
    I suppose the idea is that somebody stopped it from raining, and this is not how we think of rainlessness normally.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  13. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I don't have a problem with "it stopped raining for three and a half years", Nat - or with "it stopped raining for a month".

    But I am finding it difficult to think of a situation where someone would say "It has stopped raining for a month":(.
     
  14. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Ah, I think I've worked out what the problem is!

    If we say "it stopped raining for a month", then we know both the start point and the end point of the "stoppage": the rain stopped on 10 January 2011 and started again on 10 February 2011, for example.

    But if the rain stopped a month ago and hasn't re-started, we don't know when the end point is going to be, so we can't say "it has stopped raining for a month".

    Whereas if the rain stopped a month ago and has re-started, we would say "it stopped raining for a month", not "it has stopped raining for a month".



    (Well, it makes sense to me, anyway:D)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  15. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    “It has stopped raining for a month” would work as part of a narrative/report:

    “In the colony, conditions are deteriorating; it has stopped raining for a month and the crops have started to wither and now we see the settlers looking for fresh sources of water.”
     
  16. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    I appreciate your help very much, natkretep, Loob, and PaulQ. :)
     

Share This Page