Exercise 2

Complete the sentences using the verb in brackets with the correct form of used to or would. If both used to and would are possible, use WOULD.

When I was a child we 1 (live) in a cabin in the mountains. Back then, we 2 (not have) much money; that’s why we 3 (have) vegetables and chickens in our back garden. Every day we 4 (get up) very early and my father 5 (take) some eggs for breakfast.

The weather in summer 6 (be) really nice. There was a lake near the house; we 7 (go) there to have a swim every morning. Later, in the afternoon my brothers and I 8 (go) fishing, and in the evening my mother 9 (cook) whatever we had caught. It was fantastic!

Winters 10 (be) rather cold. Every morning I 11 (go) to the woods to look for firewood; there 12 (be) a little fireplace in the house to keep us warm. In the evenings, my father 13 (tell) us incredible stories next to that fireplace, and we 14 (listen), full of admiration.

We were poor, but we 15 (be) happy.


 

 

used to do

 

Repeated actions in the past

 
We can use used to + infinitive to talk about things that we did repeatedly in the past.

  • When I was a child, I used to go skiing every winter. 
  • From the age of 12 till I was 16, I used to dance at weekends. 

 

Situations or states that are no longer true

 
We can use used to + infinitive to talk about situations or states (stative verbs) which were true in the past, but they are no longer true.

  • As a child I used to be blond. 
  • I used to live with my mum when I was a child.

 

would do

 

Repeated actions in the past

 
We can also use would + infinitive to talk about things that we did repeatedly in the past.

  • When I was a child, we would go to the shopping centre every Saturday. 
  • My 5th grade teacher would tell me to shut up at the beginning of every class.

 

Situations or states that are no longer true

 
We cannot use would to talk about situations or states (stative verbs) which are not longer true.

  • I used to be blond as a child. (NOT I would be blond as a child.)
  • I used to live with my mum when I was a child. (NOT I would live with my mum.)