Using Would and Used to in English Video and Exercise
English language learners are often unsure about using “would” and “used to” to express past times, so they rarely use them. If you are an English language learner and you want your speech and writing to sound more natural, learning how to use ‘would’ and ‘used to’ for past times will help a lot.
Here is an example of a past story by an English language learner:
When I was a teenager I went to heavy metal concerts every weekend. I picked up my friends and we took a taxi to the stadium. We saw a different band every weekend. We went to eat after the concert and we arrived home early the next morning around 3 or 4 am. The next day we always slept until 1 in the afternoon. Then we ate Sunday dinner with our family. That was a good time in my life.
Now here is that same paragraph but told like a native English language speaker:
When I was a teenager I used to go to heavy metal concerts every weekend. I would pick up my friends and we’d take a taxi to the stadium. We’d see a different band every weekend. Normally we’d go eat after the concert. We’d usually get home early the next morning around 3 or 4 AM. The next day we’d sleep until 1 in the afternoon and then we’d eat Sunday dinner with our family. That was a good time in my life.
Notice that the story is introduced by ‘used to’ and then the subsequent actions are using would.
There are times that ‘would’ is incorrect in the past:
When I was a child I
wouldhate onions. NO. We must only use ‘would’ in the past for ACTIVE verbs. Confused? Watch the video below and do the exercises.
Rewrite the exercises using ‘would’ or ‘used to.’ Write your answers in comments, and we’ll respond.
1. When I was young I went to my grandmother’s farm every summer.
2. When I was first married I made breakfast for my husband every morning.
3. My husband didn’t like eggs for many years.
4. She worked at IBM for many years before retiring.
5. You ate here a lot during your first year at university.