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Expressing Past Habits Using Would

In this lesson of learning English as a Second language, we shall learn:

  • Expressing Past Habits using Would.
  • Difference between Would and Used To.

In Unit 35  we learnt using "Used To" to express Past Habits or Situations.

In today's lesson , we'll learn  how to express Past Habits using Would. As you already know that there are many ways of using Would. Expressing  Past Habits is just one of the other uses of Would.




Video Tutorial in English

Video Tutorial in Urdu

Would can be used to express Past Habits like "Used To".

e.g. I used to climb tress when I was 6.

      I would climb trees when I was 6.

There isn't any difference in the above sentences, both of them are showing a Past Habit which is not present now. I must tell you  that Would only expresses a Past Habit or a Repeated Action  but not a Past Situation. You know that "Used To" can  be used to show a Past Situation and a Past Habit as well but Would only shows a Past Habit or a Repeated Action.

Observe the following examples:

1) I used to swim every Sunday when I was young.  (Expressing a past habit using "Used To")

    I would swim  every Sunday when I was young.    (Expressing a past habit using "Would")

2) She used to be very shy at school. (Expressing  a past situation using "Used To") (Correct)

    She would be very shy at school.   (Wrong)

It is quite clear that we can use "Used To" for both past habits or past situations but Would can only be used for past habits or repeated actions.

Structure of Would

Affirmative:     Subject + would + 1st form of a verb + object

                    My father would tell me stories every night when I was a child.

                    Her mother would drop her at school every day.

Negative:    Subject + would + not+ 1st form of a verb + object

              My father would not  read me stories every night when I was a child.

                    Her mother  would not  drop her at school every day.

Interrogative:     Would  +subject+ 1st form of a verb + object?

              Would your  father tell you stories every night when you were a child?

                   Would her mother  drop her at school every day?

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