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    #1

    past progressive+the exact time defenition possible?

    "When I came home they had already been kicking this issue around for half an hour."

    OR

    "When I came home they were like already kicking this issue around for half an hour."

    Could I use the past progressive with the exact time dfenition in an informal conversation?

  1. Johnson_F's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: past progressive+the exact time defenition possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "When I came home they had already been kicking this issue around for half an hour." YES

    OR

    "When I came home they were like already kicking this issue around for half an hour." NO

    Could I use the past progressive with the exact time definition in an informal conversation?
    I do not understand exactly what you mean in your last question.

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    #3

    Re: past progressive+the exact time defenition possible?

    "When I came home they had already been kicking this issue around for half an hour."

    Perfect!
    It shows that they were having a half hour discussion, then you walked into the room.

    PS Avoid using "like" - as in "they were, like, already talking . . ."

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    #4

    Re: past progressive+the exact time defenition possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "When I came home they had already been kicking this issue around for half an hour."

    OR

    "When I came home they were like already kicking this issue around for half an hour."

    Could I use the past progressive with the exact time dfenition in an informal conversation?
    In BrE the first one is correct. The second is incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: past progressive+the exact time defenition possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    "When I came home they had already been kicking this issue around for half an hour."

    Perfect!
    It shows that they were having a half hour discussion, then you walked into the room.

    PS Avoid using "like" - as in "they were, like, already talking . . ."
    The second one is not possible? Perfect! refers to the first sentence or second one?

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    #6

    Re: past progressive+the exact time defenition possible?

    /A learner/

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "When I came home they had already been kicking this issue around for half an hour."

    OR

    "When I came home they were like already kicking this issue around for half an hour."

    Could I use the past progressive with the exact time definition in an informal conversation?
    In your second sentence, do you maybe want to tell this

    When I came home they looked like they had already been kicking this issue around for half an hour.

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    #7

    Re: past progressive+the exact time defenition possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by e2e4 View Post
    /A learner/


    In your second sentence, do you maybe want to tell this

    When I came home they looked like they had already been kicking this issue around for half an hour.
    The thing is that sometimes I hear people saying things that are not totally grammatically accurate " She was going out with Jack for a couple of months before she met Dave." I just want to know if it's unaducated or informal way of speaking.

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    #8

    Re: past progressive+the exact time defenition possible?

    /A learner/

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    The thing is that sometimes I hear people saying things that are not totally grammatically accurate " She was going out with Jack for a couple of months before she met Dave." I just want to know if it's unaducated or informal way of speaking.
    Not correct for me.

    "when" instead of "before" would work by some way.
    Last edited by e2e4; 11-Dec-2010 at 19:52.

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    #9

    Re: past progressive+the exact time defenition possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    The thing is that sometimes I hear people saying things that are not totally grammatically accurate " She was going out with Jack for a couple of months before she met Dave." I just want to know if it's unaducated or informal way of speaking.
    It's the kind of thing you will hear some people using in colloquial speech. When speaking, we often don't follow the conventional rules of grammar- we make mistakes, say things less formally, etc. You could call it colloquial, non-standard, or maybe informal; I'm not a fan of the term uneducated.

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    #10

    Re: past progressive+the exact time defenition possible?

    " She was going out with Jack for a couple of months before she met Dave.

    I do not even believe that it is 'incorrect'.
    The past simple is far more common to talk about an uninterrupted situation that is finished, but the speaker may choose the 'limited duration' implications of the past continuous.

    Unlike e2e4, 'when' does not work for me in this utterance. Because the idea of interruption is more strongly implied with 'when',, only the past perfect continuous seems natural. For the same reason, your original utterance is unacceptable, IMO:

    "When I came home they were like already kicking this issue around for half an hour."

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