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When you have specific dates in the past, do you always have to use the simple past?

On 01/31/2013 I met my friend. We were/have been together all day long.

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You have to use the simple past when you are referring to actions that happened in the past and are no longer in place.

So you have to say: on January 31st 2013 I met my friend. We spent [the time] (were) together all day long.

You may use the past perfect if you want to talk about something that happened while you were together:

January 31st 2013 I met my friend. We had been together for more than an hour when we ran into an old friend.

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Past Tense refers to something in the past, with no connection to the time now. So if you have a date in the past time you use Pt (past tense).

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As a day is not a point in time (most but not all lasting 24 hours), both punctive and durative events can take place on any given day.

On the Second of May, I met my friends at the lake. We were fishing when suddenly a shot rang out in the woods. [simple past / past continuous / simple past (MWV)]

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It is more natural to use simple past tense here as at the start of the sentence you have already set the time reference to the past and I see no reason not using were in we were together all day long.

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