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    #1

    used to ....problem

    Hi all,

    One English magazine says that you can NOT use “used to” to talk about how often something happened or how long it took. For example:
    a) INCORRECT: I used to go to Germany seven times.
    CORRECT: I went to Germany seven times.
    b) INCORRECT: She used to live in New York for six years.
    CORRECT: She lived in New York for six years

    Why is that ?

    I came across a sentence in another magazine : I always used to go to church
    but'always' is also adverb of how often

    thanks

  1. fighting spirit's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: used to ....problem

    The Past Simple Tense - how many times you did something

    Used to - indefinite past, expressing a habit

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    #3

    Re: used to ....problem

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    a) INCORRECT: I used to go to Germany seven times.
    CORRECT: I went to Germany seven times.

    b) INCORRECT: She used to live in New York for six years.
    CORRECT: She lived in New York for six years
    Swan, PEU (1995):

    Used to refers to things that happened at an earlier stage of one'life and are now finished: there is an idea that circumstances have changed. It is not used simply to say what happened at a past time, or how long it took, or how many times it happened

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    #4

    Re: used to ....problem

    Quote Originally Posted by fighting spirit View Post
    Used to - indefinite past, expressing a habit
    The same holds true for the simple past.

  4. fighting spirit's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: used to ....problem

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    The same holds true for the simple past.
    Well, it's more likely to use Past Simple when you know when exactly something happened.

    Used to - not used to say how many times you did something and for how long.

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