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  1. #1
    DERRIDAMER's Avatar
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    Default Past Habits

    Hi,I have been trying to see the difference between the use of simple past for "past habits" and that of "used to".
    What I mean is whether they can be used in place of each other without losing any shade of meaning.

    Comment on the following sentences in this respect.

    Are there any differences between them in terms of meaning or use?

    1)We visited our uncle every summer.

    2)We used to visit our uncle.

    The first one acquires the hint or underlying meaning of "not going on" or not?

    "We used to visit him but not any longer."
    OR
    "We used to visit him and still do it.

    In other words does it behave just like "used to",if not ,why not?


    THANKS IN ADVANCE!
    Last edited by DERRIDAMER; 19-Feb-2007 at 17:14. Reason: The first form of my question was not so clear and I had to reformulate it.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Past Habits

    1)We visited our uncle every summer.

    2)We used to visit our uncle.

    There's not really any difference; in both, the vists have finished and the time phrase in the first establishes that it was a regular habit. Without the time phrase, things would be different; with the simple past alone, we wouldn't know whether it was a single visit or repeated visits.

  3. #3
    DERRIDAMER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Past Habits

    Thanks for your help!

    I was in a chaos to decide which pattern to use in one of my texts in order to use some time metaphors!

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Past Habits

    You're welcome.

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