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    #1

    used to / simple past

    For many families , childcare is a more complicated issue today than it was when many mothers ...........home with their children.

    A) used to stay
    B) stay
    C) stayed
    D) have stayed
    E) are staying

    Which one is correct, A or C?

    For me, it seems both are correct. Is there anything that I do not know? Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: used to / simple past

    I'd choose C. A doesn't sound as good somehow.

    not a teacher

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    #3

    Re: used to / simple past

    Though both (A) and (C) can be used here, in my openion (A) will be more appropriate since 'used to stay' express a habit in the past.


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    #4

    Re: used to / simple past

    Many of the mothers who used to stay home and look after their children have now had to go out to work to bring an extra wage into the home.

    more complicated issue today than...when many mothers .......?....home.

    Today, many women go out to work. Hence, the whole problem of arranging childcare comes up. This is a big problem because today so many women go out to work versus a time when it wasn't as big a problem because so many women didn't go out to work - they stayed home and so looked after their own children.

    C is the answer

  1. lucalita009's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: used to / simple past

    I choose C. It sounds better.

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    #6

    Re: used to / simple past

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    C is the answer
    Hi, David. Well, I have no objection to C's being correct, but what makes "used to" wrong?


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    #7

    Re: used to / simple past

    What makes it inappropriate is that we are talking about two different sets of mothers, the mother of yesterday versus the mother of today. It would have been highly appropriate if the sentence had been worded:

    For many families, childcare is a more complicated issue today than it was when many of the mothers used to stay home with their children. ( because now they have to make reliable alternative childcare arrangements)

    'of the mothers' refers back to 'families', 'the mothers specific to these families/the families referred to at the beginning of the sentence)' and comparing how things used to be for them (they used to stay at home and do the child-caring themselves), and how things are now (they have to find alternative child care).
    Last edited by David L.; 27-Jul-2008 at 16:21.

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    #8

    Re: used to / simple past

    Quote Originally Posted by Trex View Post
    Hi, David. Well, I have no objection to C's being correct, but what makes "used to" wrong?
    I think the only thing 'wrong' with "used to stay" is that it uses three words instead of one, "stayed".
    I would choose C.

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    #9

    Re: used to / simple past

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I think the only thing 'wrong' with "used to stay" is that it uses three words instead of one, "stayed".
    I would choose C.
    I couldn't get that. What's wrong with using three words instead of one? It may not be a stylistic choice, but does it make it wrong?

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    #10

    Re: used to / simple past

    Quote Originally Posted by Trex View Post
    I couldn't get that. What's wrong with using three words instead of one? It may not be a stylistic choice, but does it make it wrong?
    I'd say C is the best answer.
    We're talking about a habitual action by mothers in the past. This is most often phrased as "mothers used to ..."
    BUT, we have already been referred to a time in the past, with "when" and the contrast with today, so "stayed" is appropriate, and "used to" causes a clash of tenses.
    Last edited by Raymott; 28-Jul-2008 at 08:29. Reason: Changed my mind.

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