Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Connecting about the past can create deep bonds.

Sometimes inserting the word ‘would’ in your statement about the past can create a powerful connection.

Learn how to do it in today’s episode with Lindsay and Michelle.

Talk about the past

Michelle shares that when she was a kid, she would always play with her brother’s friends.

She asks Lindsay if she did that too.

Lindsay said since she was the older sister, her brother would tag along with her friends and she would often ask him to stop.

Today’s episode is inspired by a listener’s question.

We have a great question about the word ‘would’ from Naveed Gul.

Here is the question:

Hi. You are both amazing.

I have been learning a lot through your videos.

I never thought English learning can be this easy and fun.

Love the way Michelle says “Thank you.”

Please make a video on the usage of ‘would’ to talk about the past.

Many uses of ‘would’

There are many ways to use ‘would’ in English.

For today’s episode, we will focus on just one.

Lindsay and Michelle also encourage listeners to check out another episode by the All Ears English team that is relevant to today’s topic.

That is episode AEE 1968: Must, Should, May, and Shall in English.

‘Would’ to describe what you used to do

Let’s focus on referring to something you used to do in the past.

You will often hear this being used when talking about a habit in the past.

Here are some examples:

  • She would call her mother every day when she was younger, but now she only calls once a week.
  • Every Monday, I would go watch my sister’s softball games.

Discussing routines

You can use ‘would’ to talk about a routine or things you did often in the past.

You will also hear a shortened version of ‘would’ with a contraction.

This is very common with informal speech and becomes ‘they’d’ or ‘I’d.’

Here are examples with the shortened version:

  • She’d call her mother every day when she was younger, but now she only calls once a week.
  • Every Monday, I’d go watch my sister’s softball games.

Grammar structure

The formula to remember is would + base verb.

Here are a few more examples:

  • My dog would follow me all around the house when he was a puppy.
  • My grandmother would write me a letter every day when I was a kid.

Sample conversations

This way to use ‘would’ can have a hint of reminiscing when talking about your past.

Michelle means there is a touch of wistfulness.

This means a slightly nostalgic feeling caused by thinking about something in the past.

Here are some sample questions to start conversations to be able to use ‘would’:

  • Tell me about your birthdays as a kid.
  • What was it like growing up with your brother?
  • What fun things did you do together?
  • What is one of your favourite childhood memories?


Here is another way to see how to use ‘would’ in a conversation when talking about something you did in the past through roleplay.

In this scenario, Lindsay and Michelle are childhood friends and are sharing childhood memories.

Lindsay: Remember when we were kids and we would run around the lake a million times?
Michelle: Oh my goodness yes! Our parents would get so mad because we never wore shoes!
Lindsay: Yes! I would go home and I’d have scrapes on my feet sometimes.
Michelle: I would too.


Today’s episode focused on using ‘would’ to talk about routines and habits in the past.

If someone asks you a question or if you are sharing information about something you did often in the past, use ‘would.’

This is great for conversations when talking about childhood or past memories.

There are definitely great stories to share about your past!

You can deepen connections by sharing and listening about other people’s past experiences as well.

What would you do often as a child?

Share it in the comments below.

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