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Andrés
Why to use "would" in this paragraph and not the past tense? "After school, our whole family met at the tennis coaching centre. My mother would come from home dragging along a bag that had everything from hot milk and fruits to tennis clothes. My younger sister Reeta and I would run all the way to the court right after school. We would sit together on the side bench and try to finish our homework while waiting for our turn" ______________ I don't quite understand why in this paragraph the author used "would" and not simply the past tense, for example in: -"My mother would come from home" rather than "My mother CAME from home" -"My younger sister Reeta and I would run all the way..." rather than "My younger sister Reeta and I RAN all the way..." -"We would sit together..." rather than "We SAT together..." __________ Does it correspond maybe to a certain written style? Thank you for your help
Jul 21, 2019 8:39 PM
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Answers · 15
"Would" is a modal verb with many unrelated meanings. One of the meanings is to express a repeated action or state in the past. I recommend "English Grammar in Use" by Raymond Murphy. A paper copy is affordable and there is a PDF on the net. See unit 36C.
July 21, 2019
It's common to use "would" in place of the past tense when you're talking about something (telling a story) you used to do in the past but don't do any more. You can replace it with "used to" for the same meaning but using "would" makes it feel more like storytelling rather than stating facts. :)
July 21, 2019
Hey, Andres, how are you doing? Allow me to enlighten you upon the usage of ''would'' in the contexts concerned: 1) Firstly, you should know that ''Would'' is a modal. It is used in a number of different ways. However, when the situation entails facts about the past, you can use ''would'' to talk about something that happened regularly in the past but no longer happens. E.g.: ''We would normally spend the winter in Miami.'' E.g.: ''I would often visit my grandmother at weekends.'' 2) ''Used to'' is an idiom that has a similar meaning. E.g.: ''She used to visit them every Sunday.'' E.g.: ''In the afternoons, I used to read.'' HOWEVER, the idiom ''used to'' can also be used to talk about states and situations that existed in the past but no longer exist. You can say, for example, ''She used to work there''. Though many people may use ''would'' and ''used to'' interchangeably in this case, I would recommend that you not use ''would'' (as in ''She would work there'') in order to convey the aforesaid sense that is grammaticaly restricted to ''used to''. 3) When the negative form of ''would'', which is ''would not'', is used to talk about something that happened in the past, it means that someone refused to do something. E.g.: ''They just would not believe what we told them.'' E.g.: ''I asked him to come with me, but he wouldn't.'' I hope you have understood it! Should you have any further questions concerning English grammar, do not hesitate to contact me. I should be pleased to help.
July 21, 2019
Hello, Would is an auxiliary verb and we can use it to talk about the past, to talk about the future in the past or to talk in the conditional. I don't necessarily think there is anything wrong by saying came, ran or sat but by using the past tense it sounds a bit someone was telling a story about going to the tennis centre that was maybe a one off. I hope that helps you
July 21, 2019
"Would"- is used to explain a narrative or a story based on past events. I would eat dinner early when I was younger. I would lounge around when on vacation in Rome.
July 21, 2019
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Andrés
Language Skills
English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Learning Language
English, French, Portuguese