English Grammar

drank OR were drinking

which is the best form in this context:

yesterday they went to a pub and were drinking all night


yesterday they went to a pub and drank all night?


  • I can't tell the best form, Gwendo. What I know is that they must be in top form to drink all night. Since I'd say that they went to a pub and kept drinking all night long.
  • In my opinion the expression "all night" suggests the use of the -ing form.
    But in my Gymglish grammar exercise they wanted the simple past.

    That's certainly the reason why you put this question, Gwendo?
  • It's anyhow the simple past as the action took place yesterday.
    Simple past : they drank all night.
    Simple past continuous : they were drinking all night.
    Both are grammatically correct, I think. Gwendo asked for the BEST sentence.
    To my mind, it depends on the fact that you want to stress the fact that they drank or that they didn't stop drinking all night (long). It's up to you, Gwendo.
  • Thanks for your reflection on that issue. I would prefer they were discussing all night long about substance abuse and the consequences of driving in an inebriated state.
  • Mind you, Gwendo. If they were drunkards, they could have discussed substance abuse in other way that you were hinting at, i.e. "how could we be more and more addicted to be all the time happy" and, as you suggested them, "better drinking than driving" (which is going down to the right road for drunkards).
    Have a nice Sunday.

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