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If the following verbs in bold talk about actions in the past, why we don't use the simple past instead?

Tom and Della were a young married couple. Every morning Tom used to kiss Della and set off for work. Della used to stand at the window and wave good-bye. In the evening she used to welcome him home and ask him to tell her about his day.

For instance:

Every morning Tom kissed Della and set off for work. Delia stood at the window and waved good-bye

  • You have the verb used to which tells us that the actions were habitual in the past. The verbs that come after are in the infinitive tense. – Mari-Lou A Sep 25 '16 at 9:47
  • However, if you also ask "why" the simple past tense is not used, the question becomes quite interesting (to me at least). Would you mind if I edited your question? – Mari-Lou A Sep 25 '16 at 9:56
  • I don't mind :) – Vardan Hovhannisyan Sep 25 '16 at 10:03
  • You can of course make further edits, or change things back, but I think this questions stands a decent chance of survival and might attract a few (more than some) visits. – Mari-Lou A Sep 25 '16 at 10:13
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There is a subtle difference, the meaning is similar either way.

"Every morning Tom used to kiss Della..." suggests he doesn't any more, that this was in the past, removed from now.

On the other hand, "Every morning Tom kissed Della..." may be the story of their lives right now, today.

I can explain this as a native speaker, I'm not good with formal grammatical terms though. Hope this helps.

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