Tuesday, March 4, 2014

USED TO / WOULD / PAST SIMPLE (past habits)



USED TO

- We use used to to talk about past habits (repeated events in the past) that we no longer have. 

Example: 

I used to work part time when I was a student. 
My parents used to take me to the park every weekend when I was a child.   

He didn't use to smoke in the past, but now he smokes a lot. 

- "Used to" is also used with past states, not with past actions.   

Example:
  • We used to live in New York when I was a kid.

  • There didn’t use to be a petrol station there. When was it built?
!!!! Don't use "used to" with single events in the past. Use past simple in that case. 

I visited my grandmother last month. NOT I used to visit my grandmother last month


WOULD

We use "would" to talk about repeated past actions. 

Every weekend, we would go on a picnic in the summer. 
We wouldn't spend our holidays abroad. 

- "Would" is also used with past actions, not with past states.   

I would live in Vienna when I was a child. (used to)

He would come and help me with my homework.  



!!!! Don't use "would" with single events in the past. Use past simple in that case. 


I visited my grandmother last month. NOT I would visit my grandmother last month

* Wouldn't is not generally used. 


PAST SIMPLE 

We can use past simple for repeated past events similar to "used to" and "would". 

Example:

She used to work in a factory. 
She would work in a factory.
She worked in a factory.  

!!! However, when we give a period of time, we use past simple, not "used to /would"!!!

She worked in a factory for 5 years. She used to work in a factory for 5 years


EXERCISES