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That's a good point, Ahmed. However, I think "be smiling" can be interpreted not only as the state of having a smiling face but also as an action in the progressive. In my view, both would and used to could work there.

I agree that both are possible there; however, I would MUCH more naturally use "would": "Whenever I saw her, she would be smiling."

  • I used to see her a lot, and, whenever I saw her, she would be smiling.

The sentence "She used to be smiling" is rather strange. I can see why Ahmed sees "smiling" as referring to a state in that sentence.

It would take a special context for me to want to say, "She used to be smiling." I might use it in reference to a sculpture whose appearance had changed.

Last edited by David, Moderator

I would MUCH more naturally use "would": "Whenever I saw her, she would be smiling."

  • I used to see her a lot, and, whenever I saw her, she would be smiling.

I also see that "would" as a typical or insistent behavior in the past (actually, the past form of will): in those cases she was never serious, she always smiled.

- She will smile whenever I reprimand her.
- She would smile whenever I reprimanded her.

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

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