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  5. Exercises in "Past Imperfect"…


Exercises in "Past Imperfect" section should accept "would".

  • 1405

From the definition of "would" in English:

"Used to; was or were habitually accustomed to ( + bare infinitive); indicating an action in the past that happened repeatedly or commonly"

(definition 1.3 from: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/would )

Would can be used to express the imperfect tense in English, and I think it usually sounds better than "used to". Unfortunately, the section dealing with the Imperfect tense doesn't accept would in the answer for many of the questions.

I don't expect anything to change quickly, but could the moderators keep an eye out for these corrections when they're submitted? "We would walk on the beach on Saturdays" is the same thing as "We used to walk on the beach on Saturdays".

May 4, 2018



That's what reporting is for.

  • 1405

I know. And I made several reports today for different exercises. But I've also made reports previous times I've gone through the section. And you see in the comment sections that years ago people were offering "would" in the answers. It's clear that the moderators either don't know this use of would in English or they've consistently been ignoring it.


"Would walk" and "used to walk" are only the same if given in context. Unless you preface it with a temporal clause or a previous sentence specifying that you are referring to a past time one might mistake the meaning for a condition contrary to fact. The raw phrase, "we would walk on the beach" could leave the reader wondering what prevented you from doing so and you are going to explain why you couldn't. If you write, "When we lived by the sea we would walk on the beach", or, "we were young and in love. We would walk on the beach at sunset" then it is the same as "used to." "We would walk on the beach but my husband hates sand," has a different meaning. I agree with you that using "would" usually sounds better and even has a poetic connotation.


It should be accepted. It was when I did the tree, last year.


That’s interesting. In the French past imperfect section (least in the old tree) ‘would’ is excepted and even given as the suggested answer often. I know French and Spanish are different, but from what I understand (please correct me if I am wrong) the past imperfect functions similarly in both languages.


I have never used "would" in the French Imperfect. Lemme try. I always use "used to blablabla" or "was blablabla-ing." as what the mods were always explaining in the comments. Moreover, I rely on Sitesurf a lot, I have not seen him (her?) say a thing about using "would" (or he had, but I have not seen that thread?)


I have used would in Imperfect and it has been accepted. Furthermore, copied and pasted from French Imperfect T & N:

For repeated actions or habits, you can also use constructions with "used to" or "would".

Nous visitions un monument chaque semaine. — We used to visit one monument every week. À l'époque, elle chantait souvent. — Back then, she would often sing.

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