Used to describes:

  • habits and routines that we had in the PAST, but no longer do
  • past states (states are described in the Present Simple and Present Continuous Exercise) that are no longer true

Didn’t use to describes:

habits and routines  that I didn’t have in the past, but do now.

negative past states

Would + Infinitive can also be used to describe past habits and routines but not states.

Read the following text and match the underlined text to the rules:

Back to School

I used to live in a semi-detached house in a small English city and my days were almost always the same.  I would get up at 8.00 and have breakfast.  Then I would walk to school.  Sometimes I walked there with some other boys I used to know.  The school day used to start with assembly when all the pupils met together in the school hall.  The headmaster used to give notices as part of the assembly and then we would go to lessons.

Sometimes when it rained we had wet break and would stay inside. I didn’t use to like it because it was so boring.  It was better when the sun was shining and I would go outside and chat with my friends or play football.

School would finish at 3.30 and I would walk home.  When I got home I would usually watch television and eat before going out to the park with my friends in the evening.  On a school night I would return home no later than 8.30.  My parents used to get angry if I was later.

In most of the examples you can change would for used to, but in one case you cannot.  Which one and why?

Now complete the following exercise