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Aline Tomazela
What’s the difference between used to and would? What’s the difference between used to and would to talk about regular actions and habits in the past? For example: I used to go over my sister’s house a lot. I’d play with my niece and nephew. The five of us used to play on a team. We would always win. My grandmother used to keep candy in her pockets. She’d always give us some. Thanks in advance.
19 sie 2020 21:04
Answers · 12
For one thing, we can use “would” in this way only if we’ve already established that we’re talking about the past. In your examples, we use “used to” first, and then give additional information using “would”. For another thing, “would” can be used in this way only with dynamic (action) verbs, not with verbs of state. With verbs of state, “would” is understood as a conditional. Thirdly, this usage of “would” usually involves a temporal adverb (always, never, usually, sometimes, etc.) immediately after it. Finally, and this is very subtle (almost not worthy of mention), the phrase with “used to” places a bit more emphasis on the fact that the action or state is no longer happening. By the way, I’m also a fan of "Touchstone" :)
19 sierpnia 2020
Phil gave an excellent answer. There is a related discussion here:
20 sierpnia 2020
Thanks Amro for your answer!
20 sierpnia 2020
I used to play football when I was younger, used to refers to an action that you did in the past and it has come to a pause/halt, while would refers to an action that could happen. You would do that for me? If you can help me, I would be very grateful.
20 sierpnia 2020
Aline Tomazela
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English, Portuguese, Spanish
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