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I was taught that if I say "I read a book" or "I watched a film" this means I read and watched the entire thing. How do I convey I read part of a book or watched part of a film? Does "I read a book for half an hour" or "I watched a film for an hour" sound natural to you?

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olive file 673I was taught that if I say "I read a book" or "I watched a film" this means I read and watched the entire thing

Yes, that's what I would mean and expect it to mean.

olive file 673How do I convey I read part of a book or watched part of a film?

I started reading the book / watching the film.

olive file 673 Does "I read a book for half an hour" or "I watched a film for an hour" sound natural to you?

No, not at all.

Comments  
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?

What is the correct way to say I read or watched something for a certain amount of time?

olive file 673What is the correct way to say I read or watched something for a certain amount of time?

We would not do that—it is unnatural.

So it is unnatural to say you watched the news for 30 minutes before going to bed? What is a good alternative?

Try out our live chat room.
olive file 673So it is unnatural to say you watched the news for 30 minutes before going to bed?

No—because now you have added a factor and included it in a schedule: before going to bed.