Elena
used to and would Could you explain the difference between the verbs used to and would? Can we say:  We would spend summer with our grandparents.
Oct 1, 2016 1:04 AM
Comments · 7
Привет! Yes, you could say either: "We would spend the summers with our grandparents" or "We used to spend the summers with our grandparents." Other examples of these are: "I used to work there, but I don't work there now." "I would go to the library in the city when I lived there." "I used to travel by train, but now I ride the subway." "I would go to the supermarket on Third Street when I lived downtown." 
October 1, 2016

When using dynamic (action) verbs, the meaning is the same:

I would visit my grandparents every summer when I was at school

I used to visit my grandparents every summer when I was at school


When using stative verbs (which include feelings), it's quite different. Which of these sentences is wrong?

1. I loved her, but it's all over now

2. I would love her, but it's all over now

3. I used to love her, but it's all over now


#2 is totally wrong: we never use "would" to talk about stative verbs in the past. Number 1 and 3 are correct, but 3. is more emphatic: "used to" really emphasises that the state/feeling is finished.

October 1, 2016
Yes, Alan, thanks, I understood that but too late : )
October 1, 2016
My pleasure! By the way, these types of topics might be more suitable in the "Questions/Answers" section of italki, rather than in "Discussions" :-)
October 1, 2016
Thank you, Alan
October 1, 2016
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Elena
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
English