Егор Новгородов
Егор Новгородов
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A long time ago...

Hey there, folks. Do you love revelling in nostalgia as much as I do? If so, you might like my today's idea to introduce some ways of expressing things, that took their places in the past and, apparently, won't happen ever again.

Used to + infinitive

This is probably the most popular one. It can be used to describe past states that are not true:

I used to be addicted to alcohol.
My wife used to be such a gorgeous young lady.

Or talk about past repeated actions

I used to drink a glass of orange juice every morning.
My grandfather used to visit us every few weeks.


We can also use "would" to talk about past actions, that we did for quite some time:

Back in my childhood, we’d gather around the grandparents and they would tell the family stories

Be careful! We never use "would" to talk about past states

I would used to be really sensitive in my dolescence. I would cry over every melodrama I saw.

Neither do we (normally) use it with negations and questions. So use "used to" instead.

Did you use to live in the UK? Your pronunciation is awesome.

Past Simple

Finally, you can always use a simple Past Simple and not bother with "used to" or "would". Though bear in mind, that Past Simple alone doesn't express the idea of repetition, it should be shown by the context.


  • I used to drink a cup of tea first thing in the morning.
  • I drank a cup of tea every morning.
  • I drank a cup of tea first thing in the morning.

Here we go, guys. Use these structures to enrich your grammar range and add a bit of variety.