"Chłopcy jedli cukierki."
Translation:The boys were eating candies.
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It seems I've really learned something, I can (mniej więcej) understand these Polish comments :-)
I think "ate" somehow works, even though "were eating" indeed sounds better. But "ate THE candies" suggests that there was a certain amount of candies that has been eaten 'successfully', which would need "zjedli". So the article should be omitted.