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Using ‘Used to’ and ‘would’ with Past actions.

When we speak about past actions, we use ‘used to’ and ‘would’. At times, they are used interchangeably. In this lesson, you are going to learn the usage of ‘used to’ and ‘would’ with reference to the past.

Used to: is used to speak about repeated actions in the past, that no longer happen in the present.

  • Example: I used to play football every weekend. (‘would’ could be used in place of ‘used to’)
  • Example: We did not use to watch TV. (‘would’ could be used in place of ‘used to’)

It is also used for a past state/condition.

  • Example: I used to be an engineer, but now I am a teacher. (‘would’ can’t be used in place of ‘used to’)
  • Example: I used to like rock music, but now I like jazz. (‘would’ can’t be used in place of ‘used to’)

Would: is used to speak about repeated actions in the past, that no longer happen in the present.

  • Example: When I was young, I would play football. (‘used to’ can be used in place of ‘would’)
  • Example: When I was in college, my mother would call me daily. (‘used to’ can be used in place of ‘would’)

Note: ‘Would’ can’t be used to talk about a past state/condition. It can be used only to talk about past actions.

  • Example: I would be an engineer, but now I am a teacher. (incorrect)
  • Example: I would like rock music, but now I like jazz. (incorrect)

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