Senior Member
Hello everyone,

could a native speaker please tell me which of the following sentences would be used if one heard rolls of thunder:

- It's thunder.
- It thunders.
- It's thundering.
- There's thunder.

My dictionaries give different answers and I'm quite at a loss.

Thank you.
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The first would be fine in context.
    > What's that noise?
    > It's thunder.

    The second sentence is very unlikely. Or perhaps I'm being evasive ... Nobody would say the second sentence :)

    I might use the third for fun, but thunder (verb) tends to be used more in a figurative sense - the children came thundering down the stairs.

    The fourth, possible as an observation.

    Most likely, though, I would say "I hear thunder."


    Senior Member
    English English
    I definitely say It's thundering when I hear thunder. (Mind you, I also say It's lightninging when I see lightning:cool:)


    Senior Member
    English English
    The Concise OED seems to back me up, Xander. The verb would behave just like any other verb:
    Present Simple [habitual action]: It thunders louder at night, it seems to me
    Present Continuous [current action]: It's thundering closer now ~ the storm must still be approaching


    Senior Member
    American English
    I'm a bit removed from the Midwest US now, but I've never heard It's thundering before, although it's immediately understandable and said by the right person would make me smile. We do have thundering herds of things -- American shoppers, for example. :)

    On second thought, perhaps I have heard It's thundering and lightning once or twice, even though in that phrase it should really be ewie's lightninging.
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