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  1. #1
    Nathan Mckane is offline Member
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    use to vs simple past

    What is the difference between the following sentences?

    Can we use the simple past form of the verb to talk about the continues
    action we used to perform?

    Are their meaning close and can they be used interchangeably?

    He used to play football back when he was at school.

    He played football back when he was at school.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Nathan Mckane; 16-Jul-2010 at 05:50.

  2. #2
    Harry Smith's Avatar
    Harry Smith is offline Key Member
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    Re: use to vs simple past

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    What is the difference between the following sentences?

    Can we use the simple past form of the verb to talk about the continues
    action we used to perform?

    Are their meaning close and can they be used interchangeably?

    He used toplay football back when he was at school.

    He played football back when he was at school.

    Thanks in advance.
    You can't say "use to". it must be "used to".

  3. #3
    Nathan Mckane is offline Member
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    Re: use to vs simple past

    ٰThat wasnt the answer I was looking for. A mere spelling mistake.

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: use to vs simple past

    Not a teacher.

    Your two sentences are equivalent in conveying the same information.

    But in general, "used to" implies a habit that one had in the past. The simple past tense does not imply the habitual conduct.

    "I ate lamb in college" indicates that I at one time ate that kind of meat.

    "I used to eat lamb in college" indicates that I ate that meat often, habitually.

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