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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    #1

    use of the word "would"

    Is it correct to use "would" in the following manner? If so, what is the tense? Or is it tenseless?

    "Almost every day in the summer I would walk through the field and across the creek to where my friend, Donna Jean, and I played. I would wait and watch for her. Usually I would stand up and wave at Donna Jean. .......I would look for four-leaf clovers ....."


    I feel that using simple past tense would change the meaning or the feeling I am trying to portray.

    Please advise.

    Thank you!


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: use of the word "would"

    I think the constant repetition of "would" interferes in the flow of your narration.

    "Almost every day in the summer I walked through the field and across the creek to where my friend, Donna Jean, and I played. Once there I would wait and watch for her. Usually, when I saw her, I stood up and waved. .......While waiting, I looked for four-leaf clovers ....."


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: use of the word "would"

    ...look for four-leaf clover....."
    Clover is singular. 'clovers' would refer to 'different species of clovers' (the clover family of plants)
    Yes - this is termed, 'habit in the past', formed as 'would always+verb'.
    Stylistically...is it toooooo much?


    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    #4

    Re: use of the word "would"

    Thank you, David, for the tidbit on clover(s)!!
    Still.....I believe the grammatically incorrect "four-leaf clovers" will work in my case because it is a child who is speaking....in a fictional short story.

    I forgot to mention that the sentences containing the word "would", about which I was seeking advice in my last post, are spoken by a child and are scattered throughout the fictional short story....

    Again, thanks.

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    #5

    Re: use of the word "would"

    Quote Originally Posted by Poetess View Post
    Thank you, David, for the tidbit on clover(s)!!
    Still.....I believe the grammatically incorrect "four-leaf clovers" will work in my case because it is a child who is speaking....in a fictional short story.

    I forgot to mention that the sentences containing the word "would", about which I was seeking advice in my last post, are spoken by a child and are scattered throughout the fictional short story....

    Again, thanks.
    'Would' is used here to indicate habitual actions in the past.
    Regards,
    rj1948.
    Last edited by rj1948; 19-Jun-2008 at 17:30. Reason: correction

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    #6

    Re: use of the word "would"

    Thank you Anglika and David L.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #7

    Re: use of the word "would"

    How old is this child? Is she precocious?
    Using such constructions as ' we would' for the habitual past seems a little advanced.
    Any primary teachers able to comment on when children master this?
    Certainly, until you told us, it seemed like an adult talking.
    Sorry about that.
    But I'm sure Shakespeare copped static too in his day- and we remember him more than any reviews of his literary style in Ye Avon Times Literary Supplement!


    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    #8

    Re: use of the word "would"

    Hi David....

    The child is a girl, age 12. She is telling about her childhood friend who had nervous tics. She is telling about the years they played together in their rural area of Appalachia. She is sad. But she finds solace in talking about the happy, fun times they shared before the tragic death of her friend, one year prior.

    Thank you, once again, for your helpful comments and advice.


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