Use of “used to” and ” would always” in English[used to + VERB]
Example:It is better not to use “used to” in questions or negative forms; however, this is sometimes done in informal spoken English. It is better to ask questions and create negative sentences using Simple Past.
- I used to go to the beach every day.
USE 1 Habit in the Past“Used to” expresses the idea that something was an old habit that stopped in the past. It indicates that something was often repeated in the past, but it is not usually done now.
- Jerry used to study English.
- Sam and Mary used to go to Mexico in the summer.
- I used to start work at 9 o’clock.
- Christine used to eat meat, but now she is a vegetarian.
USE 2 Past Facts and Generalizations“Used to” can also be used to talk about past facts or generalizations which are no longer true.
- I used to live in Paris.
- Sarah used to be fat, but now she is thin.
- George used to be the best student in class, but now Lena is the best.
- Oranges used to cost very little in Florida, but now they are quite expensive.
“Used to” vs. Simple PastBoth Simple Past and “Used to” can be used to describe past habits, past facts and past generalizations; however, “used to” is preferred when emphasizing these forms of past repetition in positive sentences. On the other hand, when asking questions or making negative sentences, Simple Past is preferred.
- You used to play the piano.
- Did you play the piano when you were young?
- You did not play the piano when you were young.
FORM[would always + VERB]
- You would always take your surfboard with you when you went to the beach.
- Would you always take your surfboard with you when you went to the beach?
- You would not always take your surfboard with you when you went to the beach.
USE 1 Habit in the PastLike “used to” and Simple Past, “would always” expresses the idea that something was an old habit which stopped in the past. It says that an action was often repeated in the past, but it is not usually done now. Unlike “used to” and Simple Past, “would always” suggests that someone willingly acted that way and sometimes expresses annoyance or amusement at the habit. It also often suggests the habit was extreme. To express the opposite idea, we can say “would never” to indicate that someone never did something in the past, but now they do.
- She would always send me strange birthday gifts.
- Sam and Mary would always choose the most exotic vacation destinations.
- Sally would not always arrive early to class. She came late once or twice.
- Ned would always show up at our house without calling first.
- Mindy would not always walk to school. Sometimes, she took the bus.
- Christine would always come late to the meetings.
- Jeff would never pay for drinks when we went out together with our friends. Refusing to do something or normally not doing something is also a form of habit.
REMEMBER “Would Always” is Different“Would always” is not exactly the same as “used to” or the Simple Past. “Would always” cannot be used to talk about past facts or generalizations. It can only be used for repeated actions.
- Sarah was shy, but now she is very outgoing. Correct
- Sarah used to be shy, but now she is very outgoing. Correct
- Sarah would always be shy, but now she is very outgoing. Not Correct
Forms Related to “Would Always”In addition to “would always,” English speakers often use “would constantly,” “would often,” “would forever” or simply “would.” Although the last form “would” is correct, it is not suggested because it can easily be confused with other verb forms such as the Conditional or Future in the Past. Similarly, speakers can use “would rarely,” “would occasionally” and “would seldom” to express the idea that an action was not often repeated.
- Jerry would come to the parties every weekend.
- Jerry would constantly bring his girlfriend to the parties.
- Jerry would often bring his best friend to the parties.
- Jerry would occasionally bring his older brother to the parties.
- Jerry would seldom bring his sister to the parties.
- Jerry would never bring his younger brother to the parties.