fbpx
  • Talking about our past in English: Used To and Would

    Technology advances sometimes blow my mind. Arcade Fire a band from Montreal, Canada. Their latest music video which you can watch here shows how much technology has advanced. The song is We Used to Wait a good chance to look at how we talk about our past in English.

    Used to

    We can say used to when we are talking about habits and permanent situations in the past. It gives the feeling that it was many something that took place over many years. For example: I used to be blond, before I before my hair turned gray.

    • used to + verb

    Examples:

    1. I used to live in Lewistown, Montana.
    2. I used to have a dog named Tela.
    3. I used to walk to school everyday.

    Would

    We use would for habits in the past. We can NOT say would for permanent situations in the past.

    • would + verb

    Examples

    1. I would always walk along the river on my way to work.
    2. I would always ride with my grandpa in the tractor.
    3. I would always threaten to run-away from home, when I was angry with my parents.

    If you haven’t watched the video yet do so now by clicking here. It is really quite impressive. If you can’t enter your international address you can watch my video here.

    • What do you think the song is about? Read the lyrics below.

    I used to write,

    I used to write letters I used to sign my name

    I used to sleep at night

    Before the flashing lights settled deep in my brain

    But by the time we met

    By the time we met the times had already changed

    So I never wrote a letter

    I never took my true heart I never wrote it down

    So when the lights cut out

    I was left standing in the wilderness downtown

    Now our lives are changing fast

    Now our lives are changing fast

    Hope that something pure can last

    Hope that something pure can last

    It seems strange anekatips

    How we used to wait for letters to arrive

    But what’s stranger still

    Is how something so small can keep you alive

    We used to wait

    We used to waste hours just walking around

    We used to wait

    All those wasted lives in the wilderness downtown

    oooo we used to wait

    oooo we used to wait

    oooo we used to wait

    Sometimes it never came

    (oooo we used to wait)

    Sometimes it never came

    (oooo we used to wait)

    Still moving through the pain

    (oooooo)

    I’m gonna write a letter to my true love

    I’m gonna sign my name

    Like a patient on a table

    I wanna walk again gonna move through the pain

    Now our lives are changing fast

    Now our lives are changing fast

    Hope that something pure can last

    Hope that something pure can last

    oooo we used to wait

    oooo we used to wait

    oooo we used to wait

    Sometimes it never came

    (oooo we used to wait)

    Sometimes it never came

    (oooo we used to wait)

    Still moving through the pain

    (oooooo) anekatips

    we used to wait (x3)

    www.lyrics-celebrities.anekatips.com

    We used to wait for it

    We used to wait for it

    Now we’re screaming sing the chorus again

    We used to wait for it

    We used to wait for it

    Now we’re screaming sing the chorus again

    I used to wait for it

    I used to wait for it

    Hear my voice screaming sing the chorus again

    1. Do you still live in your childhood home?
    2. If no,  how old were you when you moved?
    3. Do you dream of your childhood home?
    4. What does the song mean?
    5. What are some things you used to do?
    6. Why did you stop?

    Learn English with us, live with one-on-one classes via Skype!