why is barking "all night long" not in the imperfect?

SidneyB2Kwiziq community member

why is barking "all night long" not in the imperfect?

Asked 6 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Sydney !

Both Le Passé Composé and L'Imparfait could be used here, depending on your point of view.
If you say "Le chien a aboyé toute la nuit." (The dog barked all night long), it means you're talking of it as a past and finished action.
If you said "Le chien aboyait toute la nuit" (The dog was barking all night long), you're insisting on the length of this action, by highlighting the continued aspect of this process. You could also use it to express a habit in the past (The dog used to bark all night long).

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !
MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
In english we have something similar, if I am understanding correctly. We would say the dog kept barking all night to stress the continuous nature. If we said the dog barked all night its either he did it continuously or intermittantly, so often a clarification is required.
AurélieKwiziq team member
Yes, that's the tricky part with using the Simple Past in English there :)

why is barking "all night long" not in the imperfect?

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