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General Writing and Grammar Help/Repeated actions in the past

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Question
Hi my dear friend.
Which one is correct?

*Before the microwave, people "would" heat up soup on the top of the stove.
OR
*Before the microwave, people "used to" heat up soup on the top of the stove.
Thank you

Answer
Dear Farzad, the younger brother of Farhad:

Thank you for writing.  I look forward to your questions.

*****



*Before the microwave, people "would" heat up soup on the top of the stove.
OR
*Before the microwave, people "used to" heat up soup on the top of the stove.

*** Both are acceptable, but they are not the best way to write the idea expressed in the sentence.  Use fewer words, and since you are speaking of the PAST, use the SIMPLE PAST TENSE.

EXAMPLE:

Before the microwave, people HEATED UP soup on the top of the stove.

Farzad, by adding "would" or "used to," you are making the sentence more complicated than it actually is.

Ted, your American friend and sponsor

P. S.  In the future, please mark your questions PRIVATE so that they do not end up being posted on the internet.  

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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