Repetitive action in the past: sell/sold them off

Vronsky

Senior Member
Russian - Russia
Hello there,
The following excerpt is from a YouTube video, soft of a horror story.

"She'd been captured by a group of bandits who roamed the countryside kidnapping young females. They then took them to the largest cities and sell them off as slaves to anyone who had the money."​

I'm wandering about the word "sell" in the second sentence. Apparently it's incorrect; the story is recounted in past tense.
So I have two questions.

#1. Does "sold" sound correct in the sentence: "They then took them to the largest cities and sold them off as slaves to anyone who had the money."

# 2. Considering that this action is repetitive, would it be better to use "would + infinitive"? "They then would take them to the largest cities and sell them off as slaves to anyone who had the money."
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Is this what you hear on the video, or is it written down? It could be that the word "would" has been omitted before "sell", or that you did not hear it. Neither "and" nor "would" are stressed; the "d" in "and" often goes missing, and "would" may be pronounced as "'d", so there may be only a stop before the "d" to distinguish "an'd" (and would) from "and".

    While it might be better to say "would take...and sell...", merely placing "would" before "sell" and leaving "took" in the simple past tense is enough to show that this is a repeated action.
     

    Vronsky

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    The Newt, Uncle Jack, thank you very much.

    Is this what you hear on the video, or is it written down? It could be that the word "would" has been omitted before "sell", or that you did not hear it. Neither "and" nor "would" are stressed; the "d" in "and" often goes missing, and "would" may be pronounced as "'d", so there may be only a stop before the "d" to distinguish "an'd" (and would) from "and".
    It's quite hard to my non-native ear to make this distinction. Unfortunately there's no text, only audio and YouTube auto-generated subtitles. The subtitles read: "and sell". I actually hear: "an'sell". But thank you for your explanation in any way.
     
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