would/used to ???

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Graver

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Hi!
I just came across a grammar exercise in which I'm supposed to cross out the incorrect verb form in each sentence. The problem that I'm having now is that I don't quite understand why some of them are incorrect in these particular contexts. I'd aprreciate it if you could just spare a moment to take a look at these examples:

1. Sometimes corsets were so tight that women were having/used to have/would have trouble breathing.
2. Some women used to have/would have/had waists that were almost as narrow as their necks. I was thinking about would have as the correct one, too but I'm not sure!
3. These women used to need/would need/needed the help of at least one other person to do the corset up.
4. Only poor women who couldn't afford servants didn't use to have to/wouldn't have to/didn't have to wear corsets.


I'm not going to tell you what the correct answers are just now but would definitely appreciate any comments on all the above examples. Thank you!
 

Barb_D

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Do you know the answers, G? Because I can see several that sound okay to me in each one!
 

Graver

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what I'd like you to do is to show me the correct answers so that I can compare them with the answers in the key. I just simply need your comments and suggestions on what the correct answers might be. So would you be so kind as to cross out ONE incorrect verb form in each of the sentences and then say why you think the other two are the correct ones please? That's all I kindly ask of you...
 

Barb_D

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Hi Graver,
I think these are VERY hard!

1. Sometimes corsets were so tight that women [STRIKE]were having[/STRIKE]/used to have/would have trouble breathing.

I'd use "were having" only for a one-time situation. The smoke was so thick we were having trouble breathing.

2. Some women [STRIKE]used to have[/STRIKE]/would have/had waists that were almost as narrow as their necks. I was thinking about would have as the correct one, too but I'm not sure!
These same women didn't get bigger waists later, or if they did, it's not the subject of the essay, so "used to have" doesn't work. I was tempted to cross out "would have had" as well.


3. These women used to need/would need/needed the help of at least one other person to do the corset up.
All are fine to me.

4. Only poor women who couldn't afford servants didn't use to have to/wouldn't have to/didn't have to wear corsets.
All are fine to me.
 
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