Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Habitual Actions and Universal Truths (Part 9 of 9)

Would or used to express repeated or habitual action in the past.

* When I was a child, I would dream about flying in the air.

* When I was sixteen, my parents would argue about my choice of girlfriends.

* We used to go to the park on Saturday.

But if you're writing a series of habitual actions in the past, use would or used to only the first time. After that, use the simple past tense.

* We would visit my grandparents every summer. We would eat ate fresh vegetables, and would swim swam in their private lake.

* When I was a child, we used to worship every Sunday morning at the Baptist church, and in the evening we used to go went to the Methodist Church, and on Wednesday evenings, we used to worship worshiped with the Pentecostals.

When I tell common or habitual actions of the past, 
I use would or used to only the first time.

* * * * *

Cecil Murphey's Writer to Writer Conference will be held January 16-18, 2015, at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA, prior to the Munce Group Christian Product Expo (CPE). Faculty includes Cec, Jerry Jenkins, and Shawn and Suzanne Kuhn (SuzyQ). For more information, visit www.writertowriter.com.


  1. Cec, thank you for this informative series on verbs, especially the past, past perfect, and progressive tenses. I immediately put your tips to use in blog posts and periodical submissions. As a result, my narratives are grammatically clean & more professional. Your tips have significantly increased my writing quality and the acceptance rate of my submissions.

    I've been following your blog for three years and it's the most brilliant writing series I could ever hope or imagine for! Thank you so much.

  2. Most brilliant? Hard to accept (so I blushed appropriately). Thanks for those kind words.


  3. Suzy emailed me with this comment: Twila, Will you let Cec know that I learn so much from his posts? I look forward to reading his excellent tips, and I appreciate being able to learn every time I open his e-mail. Thanks for this privilege to learn what I don't know; it is as if I have my own personal tutor. I just reread one of my latest stories, and I thought it was some of my best writing ever. I know it is a lot of hard work, but it also learning what Cec is teaching me!! What a blessing!! Suzy

  4. Thanks, Suzy. My purpose for this blog has been not only to encourage other writers but pass on what I've learned. (My blogs also become a good reminder to myself to write what I teach.)

  5. I didn't know this and it is very good information. Thank you.


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