Two examples:

  1. it has been raining for several days
  2. It has been raining all week

Why does the first one has for and the second doesn't? Is there a rule where one should use for or shouldn't?

  • 6
    This is unrelated to present perfect continuous: "it rains for several days" / "it rains all week" - you can replace any tense you want and it will still take that form. These "all week/day/etc." are fixed expressions and they are another way of saying "for the whole week/day/etc"
    – msam
    Oct 26, 2015 at 8:09

2 Answers 2


I think this is as much a stylistic question, as it is about tenses. Having been asked the question, "For how long did it rain", one could answer:

"It rained for several days"

"It rained for the first half of the week"

"It rained for the entire week"

"It rained for all of the week"

However, "It rained all week" is both sufficient and efficient. In short, the second does not contain 'for', because the writer probably decided it was unnecessary and superfluous.

  • One could even ask "How long did it rain?", without for.
    – Færd
    Oct 29, 2015 at 9:27
  • Precisely, Farid. Oct 29, 2015 at 16:21

We do not use "for" + all: all day, all week, all morning, all the time

but we can use "for" with: "for all time", "for all eternity"

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