I think that "At midnight they all entered" should not be wrong, because it can be considered as a precise moment in the past. At midnight sharp, they all entered.
But in Italian (unlike English) you use the perfect for events that happened once at a precise moment in the past. This sentence uses the imperfect.
hi, can you suggest me some online resource to study about "when using past simple and the tens used in this sentence(past couninuous maybe?)" is not so easy for me choosing betweent these tense. i'd like to know more. Thanks
Just type: "passato prossimo Vs imperfetto explained" (and once you think you have learned the difference, after the name of the two tenses write the word 'quiz' or 'exercises' instead of 'explained') and you'll get lots of entries. There are even some very useful videos on YouTube that you can watch. ☺
not if the verb is in the imperfect tense. Another way to think of this sentence is that at midnight everybody was in the PROCESS of entering. They all hadn't already entered.
Ok jérémie but i think that the mistake is they all. Anywhere I believe your translation is good because enterd is more natural than was entering. Thanks a lot for your observation, bye and see you soon.
As a translation, nothing, so long as the point of view is from someone inside (came in implies this POV). Entered can be a POV from either inside or outside, so doesn't imply the same restriction on the POV. Which of these the Italian implies, I don't know, but am presuming the latter until I see otherwise.
Yeah but are we not also talking about a distant past? Otherwise we'd use "hanno entrati" no?
It's impossible to tell without a context, whether it is a one-off event or something which was a regular occurrence.
Exactly. "Every Christmas Eve, they all entered at midnight," for instance.
Secondo me passato prossimo non può essere usato qui. A parte di questa, il passato prossimo di entrare viene costruito con "essere", quindi la frase giusta e' "sono entrati", perché entrare é un verbo di movimento.
if the true meaning of the imperfect is required then it should be stated. entravano can be translated as 1. they were entering/coming in.2 they used to enter.3. they entered and 4 they would enter which is a meaning not used so much now and not to be confused with the conditional
I translated as "At midnight all THEY were coming in". DL didn't accept my emphatic "they"...
(American English speaker) In English we would need to say "at midnight all of them were coming in," or else "at midnight they were all coming in."
Oh, thank you! I'm learning English too...btw, is"they all were..." acceptable?
DL now marked it correct when I answered "They all entered at midnight", 8.11.2014
Is "They would all enter at midnight" incorrect? It was marked as wrong. Thanks. "They all would enter at midnight" is a correct alternative according to them, but I think it doesn't sound right.