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Thread: Would

  1. #1
    Joshua2305 is offline Newbie
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    Thumbs up Would

    In what occasions we can use "would" to talk about the past

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    henz988 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Would

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua2305 View Post
    In On what occasions we can can we use "would" to talk about the past
    1. He told me that he would visit our school. (report speech)
    2. She would read newspapers in the morning. (habitual action)
    ...

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    Offroad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would

    In my opinion, 'would' can't establish any connection with the past.

    Would you be kind enough to...
    She wouldn't do that ...

    [I am not a teacher]

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    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Would

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    In my opinion, 'would' can't establish any connection with the past.

    Would you be kind enough to...
    She wouldn't do that ...

    [I am not a teacher]
    Incorrect.
    As the previous contributor correctly notes, 'would' can refer to an habitual action in the past.

    Philo

  5. #5
    Offroad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would

    Quote Originally Posted by henz988 View Post
    2. She would read newspapers in the morning. (habitual action)
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Incorrect.
    As the previous contributor correctly notes, 'would' can refer to an habitual action in the past.
    Philo
    This is new to me.

    She would read newspapers in the morning (if she could buy them)
    She reads newspapers in the morning. (an habit)
    She read newspapers in the morning. (she does not anymore)

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    daemon99 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Would

    She spent the last summer at Bahamas. She had a regular routine that she followed everyday. She would read newspapers in the morning. She would then walk to the beach and enjoy the scenery which she would never get to see back in her hometown.

    I think this is the kind of habitual action henz988 was referring to.

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    Default Re: Would

    Quote Originally Posted by daemon99 View Post
    She spent the last summer at Bahamas. She had a regular routine that she followed everyday. She would read newspapers in the morning. She would then walk to the beach and enjoy the scenery which she would never get to see back in her hometown.

    I think this is the kind of habitual action henz988 was referring to.
    Yes, but it was needed a sentence using the past tense to indicate the action took place in the past.
    The sentence, 'She would read newspapers in the morning', by itself, does not show any connection with the past, in my opinion, of course.

    But don't worry, if you all say it's right, then... I have no choice.

  8. #8
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Would

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    Yes, but it was needed a sentence using the past tense to indicate the action took place in the past.
    The sentence, 'She would read newspapers in the morning', by itself, does not show any connection with the past, in my opinion, of course.

    But don't worry, if you all say it's right, then... I have no choice.
    These two would's, although identical in sound and spelling, are in origin actually derivatives of the same verb (will), one being its conditional mood (in older forms of English, a past subjunctive), as in

    If he were here, I would speak to him.

    and the other, denoting habitual past actions, its past indicative.

    Since they are identical in form, some kind of modifier or contextual indicator is obviously necessary to distinguish them, but 'would' in this latter use is every bit as much a past tense as is 'put' in

    I put the book down on the table and went upstairs.

    , despite the fact that, without the second clause, we are equally unable to infer its tense.

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