Regular activities in the past with “used to”, “use to”, and “would”

Thursday, May 12, 2016

When you look back at your childhood or reflect on your life, do you ever think about activities that you did often in the past but don’t do any more now?

In English, the expressions use to and used to help you convey those activities that were regularly done in the past. When the statement is positive, the expression is used to.

- Bob used to go to the cinema every Saturday.
- Lucy used to be so excited about her birthday.
- Sheryl’s favorite color used to be purple.
- Brad used to ride his motorcyle without a helmet.

When the sentence is negative, we eliminate the “d” to make use to.

- I didn’t use to like eating vegetables; now I love them.
- Kim’s hair didn’t use to be blonde.
- Angelina didn’t use to laugh so much. She’s much more fun now.
- Bill didn’t use to like smart phones until he bought an iPhone.

Note that both used and use are followed by an infinitive.

Would also expresses repetition in the past. In this case there is no infinitive that follows, only the root verb.

- Nancy would always eat her dessert first.
- My dad would often sing at home.
- Otis would always arrive ten minutes late for everything.
- Lola would often go running to elminiate stress.

Now it's time to get nostalgic :)

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