Used to / would

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simple past, used to , would?


Question formsWhat did people use(d) to do in the evenings before TV?
-What did people do in the evening before TV?
(Note: when questions and negatives are written , they often have did... used
instead of did...use)
-I liked playing tennis when I was younger
-I used to like tennis when I was younger


Questions & negativesAlthough both forms are used , we prefer used to+infinitive to talk about past
habits which are now finished.

There is an idea that circumstances have
changed when we use the form used to+infinitive.


Simple Past ≠ Used to"Used to" refers to things that happened at an earlier stage of one's life and
are now finished: there is an idea that circumstances have changed. It is not
used simply to say what happened at a past time, or how long it took, or
how many times it happened.


Examples-I studied very hard last year (not I used to study very hard last year)
(simple past to say what happened at a past time)


Example-I worked in La Felguera for 17 years (not I used to work in La Felguera for 17
(simple past to say how long)


Example-Mary went to London five times last year (not Mary used to go to London five
times last year)
(simple past to say how often)


Used to= WouldBoth can be used to refer to repeated actions and events in the past.

Would sometimes suggests a feeling of nostalgia so is often used for personal reminiscences.


ExampleOn winter days, we used to / would sit around the fire and tell stories


ExampleWhen I was a child, my sister used to /would take me to the cinema every


Used to≠ WouldWhen we refer to a past state , we can only use "used to"


Example - used to or would ?I used to have /would have a Toyota Celica

Mary used to be/would be a teacher but she's now retired


ReviewDo we use would with 'state verbs'?


Stative verbsexpress a state rather than an action
They usually relate to
states of being


ActivityYou're 70 & retired. You're happier now than when you were working. But you still miss some things.


Guess the job ....Choose a job (don't tell what job)

write 4 clues (past simple / used to / would) about your job

Let others guess the job you were in


Example4 points. I would work with a lot of people

3 points. I worked after “work”, mainly at home.

2 points. I used my voice a lot

1 point. I used to work with children


AnswerHow many clues did you need to hear??

Yes, the answer is TEACHER


You're 10Talk about bits of your childhood


some promptsWhere did you use to live?
Did your life use to be very different to how it is now?
Where did you use to go to school?
Do you remember any of your teachers?
Did you have any favourite teachers?
Did you use to get good marks?
Did you have a favourite subject?


some more promptsWhat did you use to do after school?
Where did you use to play?
Do you remember who your friends were?
Did you have a best friend?
Can you remember your favourite game?
At lunchtime, did you use to like the food?
Did you use to eat with your parents?
What was your greatest wish? Can you remember?
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