I'm not sure how to describe a habitual past event.

For this sentence, I did the same thing every day, and they didn't give me any new responsibilities.


I did the same thing every day, but they didn't give me any credit.
I did the same thing every day, but they weren't giving me any credit.

I think the first part should be past tense because there is the phrase every day, but for the second part of the sentence, I'm not sure if it should be they didn't give or they weren't giving.

3 Answers 3


I kept doing the same thing every day, but they wouldn't give me any credit.

kept doing emphasizes repeating the action :'used to' emphasizes it was in the past, and habitually, 'did' is quite generic, sure 'did it day after day' means exactly what it says but it doesn't bear any extra emotional load. "Kept doing" gives the impression of struggling against resistance, insistence.

wouldn't give emphasizes the denial. "They didn't" or "they were not giving" is a plain negation, that it didn't happen. The form "wouldn't" carries additional weight of active opposition; they should have given that credit but they still didn't.


Your sentence is fine with "didn't". A sentence with "weren't" would be better if you had subsequently quit or something.

  • Thanks Peter Flom. I'm not sure I understand it correctly or not. Does "didn't" mean I still work there? Does "weren't" mean I already quit that job?
    – nkm
    Sep 5, 2013 at 2:49

For describing the habitual past event you can use used to For example:

   1. I used to play tennis when I was in my school.
   2. I used to hate non-veg.
   3. I used to forget closing my room window.

In your context you can use

   I used to do the same thing everyday...

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