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When I want to say that we were friends in the past, and we are still friends I will use present perfect tense, right?

i.e, We've been friends for 20 years. (Implied: We are still friends.)

But when I want to say that somebody had been my friend for 20 years until we had an argument, will I say:

"We were friends for 20 years" or "We had been friends for 20 years"?

closed as off-topic by Glorfindel, user66974, Phil Sweet, Dog Lover, Laure Apr 28 '17 at 18:05

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"We were friends for 20 years" adequately conveys the past tense, making it clear that we are no longer friends. This is sufficient for a simple sentence.The past perfect form "we had been" needs to be used only when the next part of the sentence describes a more recent (past tense) event, as in

We had been friends for 20 years, but an irreconcilable dispute ended the friendship.

We had been friends for 20 years, but clashed irrevocably over an ideological issue.

Note: when the second part of the above sentence is constructed in the present perfect tense, "we were" should replace "we had been" in the first part.

We were friends for 20 years, but have clashed irrevocably this month over an ideological issue.

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