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Used to and would

 
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    UsingUsed to' andwould'

    The constructions used to' and would' can be used to describe habits and states in the past and how these habits and states are no longer true/happening. This can be done using the past simple with the present simple but another feature of used to' and would' is that it saves the speaker time by adding more information with less words.

     

    Subject + Used to + verb (bare infinitive):

     

    • I used to make pizzas = I did make pizzas when I was 21 but now I do not 

    • I used to climb trees = I did climb trees when I was a child but now I do not

    • I used to live with my parents = I did live with my parents but now I do not

     

     

    Negative forms ofused to' 

    We can use the used to and would sentences in the negative to describe changes between the past and the present in a slightly different way. Note the change in form. The used' has now become use' when combined with didn't'

     

    Subject + didn't + use to + verb (bare infinitive):

     

    • I didn't use to live in my car (but now I do)

    • I didn't use to drink everyday (but now I do)

    • I wouldn't eat snacks when I was a child (but now I do)

     

    You'll notice that in the negative form, the used' becomesuse' but when we use never' the negative sentence keeps used'.

     

    Subject + never + used to + verb (bare infinitive):

     

    • I never used to think about doing dangerous things (but now I always/often do)

     

     

    Usingwould' withused to' for variety

    Would' is often used to avoid repetition in the English language. Generally speaking, it can be used instead of used to'

     

    Subject + would + verb (bare infinitive):

     

    • I used to live in the South of England (but now I don't) and I would climb trees when I was a child (but now I don't)

     

    Warning!

     

    Would CANNOT be used when describing states in the past that are no longer true. For example:

    • I used to live… (NOT I would live…) when I was younger
    • I used to have… (NOT I would have…) when I was younger

     

     

    Usingused to' andwould' in questions

    As an alternative to asking past simple questions, we could use used to' and would' for questions. It is worth noting that the form ofused to' becomesuse to' when used in question forms.

     

    • Did you use to do any housework

    • What did you use to do when you were younger?

    • When did you use to do that?

    • Would you climb on cars when you were a teenager?
    • Didn't you use to like this? 
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