Inicio > Recursos Inglés > "WOULD" IN THE PAST


06 / 05 / 2005

WOULD IN THE PAST: meaning and examples

Good morning. Can you understand the following sentence? Example 1 When my father was young he would always read to me before I went to bed. What does would mean in this sentence? That's exactly what Sergio C. wanted to know. He asked us the following question: Could you tell us something about the use of "would" as a past tense? Well Sergi, would is NOT a past tense, it's a modal verb. But you're correct; it can be used to talk about habitual actions in the past. By habitual actions, I mean things that were repeated regularly in the past (on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, for example). Example 2 As a child she would often run away from home. (She ran away regularly.) Example 3 Whenever my mother was angry, she would leave the room. Remember that we also use the form used to to talk about habitual activities in the past. Example 4 Whenever my mother was angry, she used to leave the room. Example 5 I didn't use to like eating vegetables, but now I love them. Well Sergio, that is a very brief and simplified review of would in the past. You may also want to refer to our Daily Vitamin from March 4th, 2004 ("Used to" in the Present) for more related information. Nevertheless, on Monday we will resend that March 4th Daily Vitamin since it has important information about the use of used to for habitual actions in the past. I hope that all of you have an excellent weekend! As usual, if you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please don't hesitate to contact me.