FR: It has been raining since morning

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by 8apples, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. 8apples New Member

    English - British

    Should the sentence "It has been raining since morning" be translated using the imparfait, like Il pleuvait depuis le matin? From what I understand the English sentence means it is still raining (at the time it is spoken), so I am guessing the imparfait would be suitable here.

    Yet, I saw on a website using the present tense instead to translate it: Il pleut depuis le matin. So is the present tense actually the correct tense to use instead of the imparfait? Or can both actually be used?

    Merci d'avance !
  2. marget Senior Member

    Yes, the present tense in French is correct. The imparfait cannot be used in your context.
  3. 8apples New Member

    English - British
    Hi! Merci de votre réponse et votre aide !

    May I know, though, why the imparfait is not appropriate for the sentence, since the action (the "raining" action) began in the past but is still ongoing? Perhaps I have gravely mistaken the use of imparfait...

    Merci !
  4. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    The imparfait would suggest it's not raining anymore and hence it is not appropriate here.
  5. 8apples New Member

    English - British
    Thanks guys! It seems I have misunderstood the use of the imparfait!
  6. marget Senior Member

    You need to remember that since "depuis" is used, the present tense in French conveys an action or state that began in the past and is still going on.

    "has been raining" is not the same as "was raining" which could be expressed using the imparfait.

    Present tense + depuis + amount of time expresses how long something has been going on and is stil going on. It's an idiomatic usage.

    Using the verb in the imparfait with this structure would express how long something had been going on (before something else happened)
  7. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member


    Just to clarify...

    It has been raining since... : Il pleut depuis...
    It had been raining since... : Il pleuvait depuis...
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  8. 8apples New Member

    English - British
    Thanks marget and Oddmania! I'll keep these in mind, definitely! :)

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