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  1. matilda

    Talking 19-would&used to

    Dear all


    When does (would) take the place of (used to)?

    A. When they were students, they used to go skiing every winter .

    B. When they were students, they would go skiing every winter .

    I saw these two sentences in an article, and the author explained that both of these are correct. But, in the same article, He mentioned that we can just use one form (used to) the following example:

    A. Aunt Stephanie used to live in Chicago.


    B .Aunt Stephanie would live in Chicago.

    Why did he use would in two different ways? In one form, He used would , and in the other one, he didn't use it?

    Thanks a million


    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 137

    Re: 19-would&used to


    The "used to" form indicates a habit. A habit of the past.

    The example sentence you have given us indicates that perfectly.
    Aunt Stephenie used to live in Chicago.
    I encountered many sentences like these in exercises and most of them had a time indication at the end as well. eg: for 10 years etc ... .

    It's considered as a habit because it is often about a long stretch of time. A periode in somebody's life.

    "would" and "used to" are interchangeable in your first example sentence.
    When they were students, they used to go/would go skiing every winter.

    However you may use both here, personaly I prefer "used to go" as well here. And that for the same reason, 'cause it's a habit. The word that indicates the habit here is "every winter".

    Kind regards

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 137

    Re: 19-would&used to

    It's correct that you have to use "used to" in the following sentence; Aunt Stephanie would live in Chicago. This sentence is incorrect because the meaning changes completely. It doens't have anything to do anymore with a habit nor the past.

    Then this sentence can refer to an "if-clause"
    eg: If she wins the lottery, she would move to Chicago
    It is more about predictions then.

    Kind Regards

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 59,789

    Re: 19-would&used to

    Don't use 'would' for past habit states- only actions.


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