Home » General English » General English CEFR Level B1 » Using WOULD to talk about past habits

Using WOULD to talk about past habits


Using WOULD to talk about past habits in English. On this page, will look at another way you can refer to a past habit. We have already looked at the 2 different meanings of USED TO, but let’s quickly review with some example sentences:

  • I used to smoke but I quit 3 years ago.
  • I never used to cook for myself, but recently I’ve become quite good at it!
  • Did you use to walk home from school or take the bus?

In all of the sentences above, USED TO refers to a habit in the past.

  • I would always have a cigarette first thing in the morning before I quit smoking.
  • I would always order takeaway food for dinner until I learned to cook for myself.

Both ‘would’ and ‘used to’ can be used to talk about past actions and habits. However we only use ‘used to’ to refer to past states – we don’t use WOULD for this. Here are some examples.

Past action – study:

  • I used to study every day when I was at college.
  • I would study every day when I was at college

Past state – student:

  • I used to be a student.
  • I would be a student.

We will look at using WOULD to talk about past habits in more detail in Level B2.




5 steps in critical thinking

Being able to critically consider something you are reading is essential these days to make sure what you are reading is true. Here are 5 points to consider for critical thinking: 1. Consider the source Where is the information you are reading, watching or listening...

read more

Talking about diet

'Diet' refers to the food you eat, and can also mean an attempt to reduce your weight by eating fewer calories a day. Collocations: a balanced diet (a diet consisting of a variety of different types of food that have enough of the nutrients necessary for good health)....

read more

The future perfect and the future continuous at Level B2

In this lesson, we will look at the future perfect. We have already looked at the future continuous in Level B1. Here are examples of each form: The future continuous: He will be working tomorrow afternoon. The future perfect: He will have worked 8 hours by the end of...

read more


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.