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Describing habits

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Here are some ways that we use to describe people's habits:

We can use 'will' to describe present habits and behaviour whether it is good or bad.
She'll tell you all about her life even if you're not interested.
He will always wake up early.

To express annoyance we tend to use the 'present continuous + always, keeps + ing' or 'will keep + ing' in the same way.
My sister is always telling me what to do.
He keeps texting me.
They will keep reminding me to go and visit them.

For past habits we can use 'would'.
My father would take me fishing every Saturday.

It is important to remember that 'will/would' are used to describe habits not states:
He would get angry very quickly. NOT He would be angry very quickly.
And the 'present continuous + always, keep +ing and would keep + ing' are used the same way.

'Keep on' is used to emphasise that the action is repeated frequently.
I'm sorry but I keep forgetting your name.

'Tend to' is used to describe typical states.
She tends to be rather shy in new company.

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

Add the correct word/phrase for the following:

  • 1. On Sunday mornings I _ get up and go for a run.

  • 2. Before I got a car I _ wait on bus stops for hours.

  • 3. My mum _ always bake a cake if we are visiting.

  • 4. He _ forgetting his keys at work.

  • 5. She _ employ attractive young men.

  • 6. My father _ always bring us presents if he was away for long.