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I played football at 5 o'clock yesterday. does it mean:

  1. I started to play football at 5 o'clock yesterday.
  2. I finished playing football at 5 o'clock yesterday.

1 Answer 1

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I played football at 5 o'clock yesterday. does it mean: 1- I started to play football at 5 o'clock yesterday. 2- I finished playing football at 5 o'clock yesterday.

The sentence is not particularly idiomatic. If anything it means "I started to play ..." it definitely does not mean "I finished playing ..."


Normally we would say:

"I started football at 5 ..."

and

"I played football until 5 ..."


You could also say:

"I was playing football at 5 ..."

This would mean that your game was in progress at 5, but would say nothing about when it started or finished.



In response to a comment

"I played football until 5" or "I was playing football until 5" or "I had been playing football until 5" which one is correct?

They are all grammatically correct. Whether the verb tense is correct depends on the context.

For example

1. Father: What did you do yesterday afternoon son while I was at work?

Son: I played football until 5, then I came home.

2. Police: The murder was committed at 5pm. We think you did it.

Suspect: No, I have an alibi. I was playing football until 5 so it couldn't have been me.

3. Wife: Do you remember how we first met?

Husband: Yes, I remember it very well. I had been playing football until 5 that afternoon. Afterwards I was heading home when we accidentally bumped into each other ...

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  • "I played football until 5" or "I was playing football until 5" or "I had been playing football until 5" which one is correct?
    – Waleed Gh
    Sep 11, 2020 at 8:06
  • @Waleed Gh - I have added to the answer. Sep 11, 2020 at 10:33

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