Objective: First Certificate (FCE)

Anywhere, anytime: a FCE companion

I used to know how to explain this in a funny way…but I forgot

with 3 comments

..so the only thing I can tell you about ‘used to’ and/vs ‘would’ in order to express past habits is: JUST PRACTICE, hehe.

Well, I did explain the usage in class, i.e. when we can use ‘would’ and ‘used to’, etc. So tell me, can I say:

  1. “We would be very tired after school”?
  2. “I would have a blue budgie called ‘Azulito'”?
  3. “My father would pick me up at school”?

Written by ElenaBen

April 8, 2008 at 11:12 am

3 Responses

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  1. Well, I’ m not sure, but I think “used to” can be negative or interrogative. On the other hand “would” only admit positive form.


    April 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm

  2. mhh, I’m not sure. I think number 1 ant 3 are correct because they are repetitive actions in the past and we can use “would” or “used to”. But number 2 is incorrect because it describes a situation in the past and we should use the “used to” form (I used to have a blue budgie called ‘Azulito’).


    April 9, 2008 at 11:44 am

  3. Hi Carmen and Mike,
    I don’t think it’s a matter of negative or positive forms but a matter of ‘state’ vs ‘action’. ‘Would’ cannot be used to refer to past states. To describe past states we can only use used to. So, Miguel I guess you’re right.
    Thanks for trying! 🙂


    April 11, 2008 at 12:06 pm

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