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    #1

    she was doing nothing but talk(ing)

    Hello,

    *self-made*

    1- 'She was doing nothing but talk/talking about her boyfriend.'
    2- 'All she was doing was talk/talking about her boyfriend.'

    I have difficulty determining which one is OK - with 'ing' or not. I am asking this question because I've come across some use both.

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: she was doing nothing but talk(ing)

    Only 'talking' is correct.

    However:

    'She does nothing but talk about her boyfriend'.
    'All she does is talk about her boyfriend'.

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    #3

    Re: she was doing nothing but talk(ing)

    And:

    'She did nothing but talk about her boyfriend'.
    'All she did was talk about her boyfriend'.





  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: she was doing nothing but talk(ing)

    I'd like to point out that possible second meaning for "All she did" or "All she was doing was."

    It can certainly mean what you suggest it means.

    It can also mean that "talk about her boyfriend" was the limit of her activities - she didn't do anything else.
    Like: Wasn't Mary talking to Ann Jones? Ann is with our biggest competitor! Talking to Ann could be giving away company secrets!
    Oh relax. All she did was talk about her boyfriend. The topic of business never came up.

    Or:
    A: Oh no! Mary is over there talking to Ann. I'm afraid she'll let it slip about the surprise party we're planning for Ann.
    B: No worries. All she's doing is talking about her boyfriend.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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