What is the meaning of below sentnece using would?

But the baby's disappearance would fox police for days.

for contex please read.


  • 2
    It's a normal would as the past of will. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 6:49
  • @ Demkerng I don't thik so
    – user4084
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 7:14
  • You can (and should) add what you think in your question. I could've been wrong because I didn't read the whole story (it's too long to read in a few seconds), but I assumed that the story was told in the past tense (aka narrative past), and the tenses used in the story were (or should be, if my assumption is correct) shifted to the past accordingly. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 7:21
  • read... very brutal. And @DamkerngT. is right! :)
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 7:29
  • @Demkerng. You were right, prima facie sentence mean the same as you said. But in context is means it is repetation of police foxing.
    – user4084
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 8:04

1 Answer 1


The verb would is often used to express past routine or typical behaviour that was frequently repeated. In this case, the baby's disappearance kept on foxing the police for days.

Here are a few other examples, they also express repetitive behaviour in the past:

  • Grandfather would sit on the porch and smoke his cigarette.
  • I would arrive at school and look for my friends.
  • My cat would chase the ball until he was tired.

You can learn more about it here.

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