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would/used to Options
D00M
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 8:33:23 AM

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Hello respected teachers,

Are both 'would' and 'used to' correct in the following gap?

My grandmother was very absent-minded. She ......(often, buy) something and then leave the shop without it.

I think only 'would' is correct because of the 'leave' being in the simple form; otherwise, both were correct, yes?

e.g.:

My grandmother was very absent-minded. She ......(often, buy) something and then left the shop without it.


And, which is more natural- 'would often buy' or 'often would buy'? I think the former, correct?

The custom of speaking is the original and only just standard of any language. Joseph Priestly- Rudiments of EG, 1761.
renee talley 1
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 9:37:35 AM
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d'oh! Think If my grandmother saw there was rain ; she would leave her umbrella in the house.
my Grandmother used to have a great memory for being a very detailed person.Dancing Applause Dancing Whistle
D00M
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 10:13:44 AM

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renee talley 1 wrote:
d'oh! Think If my grandmother saw there was rain ; she would leave her umbrella in the house.
my Grandmother used to have a great memory for being a very detailed person.Dancing Applause Dancing Whistle


So how can I help you now?
Think

The custom of speaking is the original and only just standard of any language. Joseph Priestly- Rudiments of EG, 1761.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 11:13:15 AM

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Hi D00M.

I think (from the many 'odd' posts) that none of us can really help Renee.

Yes - both forms "would buy" and "used to buy" are correct. (Of course, you would normally hear contracted forms as I'll show below).

She'd often buy something and leave it in the shop.
"Leave" is correct - it is the simple ('present') form, but it is also the bare infinitive, like 'buy'.

"Used to" can be used as "one action done repeatedly" (with a singular object). I used to visit my mother on Sundays.
It can be used for "many similar actions done habitually" (with a plural object). I used to buy and sell cars.
It can be used for a long-term state of being (with no object). I used to be a student.

This sentence about your grandmother talks about habitual similar actions - so it has to be plural really.
My grandmother was very absent-minded.
She often used to buy things and then leave them in the shop.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
NKM
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 12:08:34 PM

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And yes, "would often" feels more natural than "often would". For one thing, it allows for the contracted form ("She'd often buy …").

But even without contraction, the rhythm of the sentence is more comfortable with "would often" — and rhythm is an important aspect of speech.

D00M
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 1:48:38 PM

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Thank you very much both.

Is a "used to" implied before "leave" in the following?


She often used to buy things and then (used to) leave them in the shop.

The custom of speaking is the original and only just standard of any language. Joseph Priestly- Rudiments of EG, 1761.
NKM
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 7:18:52 PM

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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Yes.

It is so strongly implied that it would be redundant to actually say it.

RuthP
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 10:11:36 PM

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D00M wrote:
Thank you very much both.

Is a "used to" implied before "leave" in the following?


She often used to buy things and then (used to) leave them in the shop.

What NKM said is exactly correct. It would not be unusual, however, to see it written this way:
She often used to buy things and then would (then) leave them in the shop. The use of "then" is completely optional and changes nothing.
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