However it's perfectly fine to say "I read a book till 5 am". "Read" and "fixed" work differently.
Why? How is anybody supposed to know that?
Because of the meaning of the verbs.
Therein lies the problem. You're about to see the entire thing. Please, read carefully.
The language I speak has a perfect and an imperfect forms of any verb. The imperfect form is neutral
while the perfect form implies a certain(often the highest) degree of success
To show you some examples, I'm going to use verbs with 'est' at the end in order to show you the difference in the verb forms.
I am aware
English does not have such verbs and
the verbs without 'est' may have another, different meaning.
These are neutral, we can say this just to show the activity/action. In English they can be followed by 'for
+ an amount of time'.
A: I insisted on going to the movies / that we go to the movies.
(we don't know whether 'they' went to the movies)
A: I taught my son how to play the piano.
(we don't know whether 'A' successfully/completely taught his son how to play the piano)
A: I learnt English at school.
(we don't know whether 'A' has any results of this activity)
A: I studied this article.
(again, we don't know if 'A' has any results of this activity)
These show successfully fulfilled actions (= results). In English they can be followed by 'in
+ an amount of time'.
A: I insistedest
on going to the movies / that we go to the movies.
(we know for sure just from the phrase that 'they' did go to the movies)
A: I taughtest
my son how to play the piano.
(we know for sure just from the phrase that 'A' successfully/completely taught his son how to play the piano)
A: I learntest
English at school.
(we know for sure just from the phrase that 'A' has a great amount of knowledge about the English language, it IS
extremely rare that anyone can say that)
A: I studiedest
(we know for sure that A put enough time into the article so he now knows every detail of it)
For example, we can't say:
- I learntest English at school, but I still can't speak fluently.
It's just nonsense. It should be, "I learnt English at school,...".
A: Where do you work?
B: I'm an interpreter. I used to be a teacher. I taught
kids English. (we can't use 'taughtest'
here, because maybe some of the kids you taught couldn't speak it).
A: What did you both do yesterday?
Son: We went to my grandmother's house in the village and my dad taught me (how) to drive.
(we don't know whether the son knows how to drive now)
/Son: We went to my grandmother's house in the village and my dad taughtest
me (how) to drive.
(completely = not just an activity, but a fullfilled action, result, outcome)
One more example:
We defended our land. - Neutral, it's just means that someone else initiated the attack.
our land. - Successfully. We won. The attackers were/have been defeated.
And of course cases related to objects: books/pictures/movies/ships/cakes etc. etc.
A: What did you do yesterday after coming home?
B: I read a book.
/B: I readest
A: What are you going to do tonight?
B: I'm going to paint a picture.
/B: I'm going to paintest
C: I write my book every day until I complete(writest) it. I wrote it yesterday and the day before and will do so today and tomorrow.
/D: He wrotest
his third book last year.
By the way, I just realized that the best way for you to understand how the two verb forms work is by looking at this beautiful couple: 'to look for'
and 'to find'
I looked for my keys for
I looked for my keys in 2 hours.
I found my keys for 2 hours.
I found my keys in
English has the same thing!
But unfortunately only with this activity (of looking for something).
So, now you see? In my native language we can even use 'ask for something'
/ 'ask somebody to do something'
in the "successful way". So we literally have to learn the meaning of every English verb from scratch!