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Andrey
We sat talking on the stoop until midnight Did they intend to talk until midnight? Or it just turned out that they had been talking until midnight (it just happened by chance)?
Jun 24, 2013 6:52 PM
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Answers · 4
It could be either. There is not enough context to know. If there was more information like this: We had planned to talk until 11pm, but instead... Then you know it wasn't planned. But otherwise, there is no way to know.
June 24, 2013
...or did they just end up talking until midnight? You would use the simple past because you set a time limit (midnight) and you're focusing on that as the time the action ended. If you wanted to focus on what they did during a certain amount of time, you could use the continuous "they were talking" however en here, the simple past is always best. "They talked!"
August 27, 2013
By the way, is this correct "Did they intend to talk until midnight? Or it just turned out that they had been talking until midnight (it just happened by chance)?" I'm agonizing over whether I had to use the Past Perfect Continious or not.
June 24, 2013
Andrey
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
English