Used to vs. Would
Welcome back to the Art of Business English. This week we are brining you a short lesson on some grammar, “used to” vs “would”. This is more advanced level grammar, but it is easy to learn. So, let’s take a look at how you can use it to refer to past actions.
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We use “used to” + bare infinitive (verb without “to) for:
Actions that happened regularly in the past but no longer happen.
States that existed in the past but no longer exist
Used to structure
Affirmative: Subject + used to + verb + object
Negative: Subject + did not + use to + verb + object
Interrogative: Did + subject + use to + verb + object?
We use “would” + bare infinitive for regular actions in the past that we no longer do. We do not use it for past states.
Affirmative: Subject + would + verb + object
Negative: Not commonly used in negative
Interrogative: Would + subject + verb + object?
Action no long happens
Action didn't happen
Action does happen
In conclusion, this is how we use "used to" and "would" to talk about past repeated actions and/or states in English. So, the next time you hear someone using "would" to refer to a past repeated action you will know that they are not talking about the conditional use but in fact about something they "used to" do.
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