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Can't we use ( would ) to express negative past habits.?

The English British council says that( we don't normally use would with negative past habits. However, in Macmillan English grammar,the author says that we can use ( would never) and I came across such sentence ( His brother wouldn't ride a bike very often).

It seems to me that it is Ok to use the negative form ( wouldn't ) with adverbs of frequency with negative past habit or when it means ( he refused to...)

Would you please clarify this point?

Thanks in advance.

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Hi, Ahmed Towab,

@Ahmed towab posted:

Can't we use ( would ) to express negative past habits.?

The English British council says that( we don't normally use would with negative past habits.

That is absolutely right and it is the general rule followed in our books. However, it isn't impossible to use. David accepted 'wouldn't' with this meaning before.

https://thegrammarexchange.infopop.cc/topic/wouldn-t

@Ahmed towab posted:

However, in Macmillan English grammar,the author says that we can use ( would never) and I came across such sentence ( His brother wouldn't ride a bike very often).

It seems to me that it is Ok to use the negative form ( wouldn't ) with adverbs of frequency with negative past habit or when it means ( he refused to...)

I agree with you. When we use 'wouldn't' followed by 'always' or 'ever', this combination sounds natural to use. I think what makes the example above sounds natural is the usage of 'very often', which makes it close in meaning to 'wouldn't always'.

https://www.ecenglish.com/lear...ns/used-would-always

Thanks

I agree with you.It is ok to use negative of would if you were talking about something that didn’t happen, you could say “He was so angry that he wouldn’t even talk to me.”
Somebody wouldn't do something = he/she refused to do it:
-I tried to warn him, but he wouldn't listen to me. (= he refused to listen)
The car wouldn't start. (= it refused to start)
I think The British council asserts the idea of not using “would” in negative to talk about past states.
Examples:
-I used to live in London.(location)
-I used to have long hair.(possession)
-I used to be a horse-rider.(Past state)
In the above examples, we see that would or wouldn’t is not used in such examples as it refers to states as it is shown between parentheses.

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