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Hi,

We went to the theater and had fun. We also went to the mall and did some shopping. (1)

We would go to the theater and have fun. We would also go to the mall do some shopping.(2)

Both (1) and (2) are past tense. But (2) is used to describe repetitive activities in the past tense, is that it? Just checking.

Thanks so much.

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Yes, but #1 is what is commonly used.

#2 is very rarely used, at least in my experience.

Clive

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anonymousBoth (1) and (2) are past tense.

No. (2) is a modal construction, not the past tense.

I think you mean both are used to represent past time.

anonymous(2) is used to describe repetitive activities in the past tense

I'd say 'habitual actions in past time'. It's typical to say in which time period these actions occurred with a 'when' clause in the past tense before using this 'would' construction (occasionally after).

When we worked with the Syrian army, we would always mix with them and chat.
When we had enough money, we would shut down the carnival and head to McDonald's.
When either of us went on a trip, we would bring back a gift for the other one.
When we got to the table Easter morning, we would each pick out a colored egg.
We would spot snakes in our yard weekly when I lived on the Sunshine Coast.

CJ

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Comments  

Thanks, CJ. Even without 'when', can it be used generally? For example: I remember my childhood. I'd play football over and over, but I never made it to the top.

Here 'would' is used in place of 'used to' or something similar (I used to play football etc.).

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anonymousFor example: I remember my childhood. I'd play football over and over, but I never made it to the top.

Yes. It's OK to mention the time period first — childhood in this case — and then use that "habitual would" construction.

anonymousHere 'would' is used in place of 'used to' or something similar (I used to play football etc.).

Yes. 'would' are generally equivalent with actions; however, only 'used to' is normally used for states.

See Would vs used to for details.

CJ