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Basic English Grammar

Would and Used to

Would

Use would to talk about repeated actions and events in the past.

  • The old man would sit in a corner talking to himself for hours.
  • After dinner we all would sit in the drawing room and chat.

Use used to talk about repeated actions and events in the past.

  • The old man used to sit in a corner talking to himself for hours.
  • After dinner we all used to sit in the drawing room and chat.
Difference

We can use used to to talk about past states. Would cannot be used with this meaning.

  • I used to have an old Rolls-Royce. (NOT I would have an old Rolls-Royce.)
See Also
Common errors with adverbs New!
Common errors with conjunctions New!
Expressing a condition
Expressing a concession or contrast
Common errors with adjectives
Common errors with pronouns
Common errors with nouns and noun phrases
Causative use of Have
Indirect questions

 

 

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