[would always + VERB]
USE 1 Habit in the Past
Like "used to" and Simple Past, "would always" expresses the idea that something was an old habit which stopped in the past. It says that an action was often repeated in the past, but it is not usually done now. Unlike "used to" and Simple Past, "would always" suggests that someone willingly acted that way and sometimes expresses annoyance or amusement at the habit. It also often suggests the habit was extreme. To express the opposite idea, we can say "would never" to indicate that someone never did something in the past, but now they do.
- She would always send me strange birthday gifts.
- Sam and Mary would always choose the most exotic vacation destinations.
- Sally would not always arrive early to class. She came late once or twice.
- Ned would always show up at our house without calling first.
- Mindy would not always walk to school. Sometimes, she took the bus.
- Christine would always come late to the meetings.
- Jeff would never pay for drinks when we went out together with our friends.
Refusing to do something or normally not doing something is also a form of habit.
REMEMBER "Would Always" is Different
"Would always" is not exactly the same as "used to" or the Simple Past. "Would always" cannot be used to talk about past facts or generalizations. It can only be used for repeated actions.
- Sarah was shy, but now she is very outgoing. Correct
- Sarah used to be shy, but now she is very outgoing. Correct
- Sarah would always be shy, but now she is very outgoing. Not Correct
Forms Related to "Would Always"
In addition to "would always," English speakers often use "would constantly," "would often," "would forever" or simply "would." Although the last form "would" is correct, it is not suggested because it can easily be confused with other verb forms such as the Conditional or Future in the Past. Similarly, speakers can use "would rarely," "would occasionally" and "would seldom" to express the idea that an action was not often repeated.
- Jerry would come to the parties every weekend.
- Jerry would constantly bring his girlfriend to the parties.
- Jerry would often bring his best friend to the parties.
- Jerry would occasionally bring his older brother to the parties.
- Jerry would seldom bring his sister to the parties.
- Jerry would never bring his younger brother to the parties.
ACTIVE / PASSIVE
- My mother would always make the pies. Active
- The pies would always be made by my mother. Passive