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My textbook I studied from many months ago stated that to quote what somebody said, you have to use と言っていました. I was wondering why that form is used and not と言いました。 Is there any specific reason for it?

  • Have you ever said, "I was saying" and not "I said"? – kiss-o-matic May 26 '15 at 20:54
  • Too good question to answer. – user4092 May 26 '15 at 21:39
  • I usually use said, not was saying. 'Was saying' sounds more like something an American would say. – Daniel May 26 '15 at 22:27
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    @kiss-o-matic "Said" vs "Was saying" in English has very little (like nothing) to do with this, even though that is often used for an answer to this question on internet. Truth is it is much more complicated. Otherwise, people would not keep asking this question in the first place. – l'électeur May 26 '15 at 22:39
  • @l'électeur Are you saying that people repeating the same question over time is generally a valid reason to assume that the answers already given are wrong? – Oskar Lindberg May 27 '15 at 10:35

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