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Person 1: His said his name was Heathcliff-

Person 2: That's him. That's the guy I talked/was talking to.

I know "I talked to" is fine, but would "I was talking to" also be natural to use here?

If Person 2 had talked to Heathcliff for one minute an hour ago, which one would you go with?

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    It doesn't really make any difference how long ago you talked / were talking to the guy. But you'd definitely be more likely to use Simple Past if you'd been talking to the guy for some clearly-defined purpose which was in fact achieved (Simple Past being much more suitable for referencing a "completed act" in the past, if Person1 had asked Did you manage to get directions from anyone?). And you'd be more likely to use the Continuous form if the duration of the conversation was contextually relevant (if Person1 had asked What have you been doing?). Mar 11 '21 at 18:22
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Q. That's the guy I talked to/was talking to. I know "I talked to" is fine, but would "I was talking to" also be natural to use here?

Can I explain this by using some examples

That's the guy I was talking to, who was picking his nose, all the time during our conversation.

In this instance you would not say talked to. Although the conversation was in the past you are discussing actions that were taking place at that time.

In your example That's him. That's the guy I talked to (yesterday) would be more natural. Whilst That's him. That's the guy I was talking to about ..blab blab

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  • In my second example I show that the introduce subject after "was talking to" although we may also use it if the subject has already been established. "Did you mention that someone said they knew Aunt Jessie? Yes! That's the guy I was talking to"
    – Brad
    Mar 12 '21 at 6:20

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