Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Would and Used To

Would vs Used To

“Would” and “used to” are two different English word and phrase usages respectively. They are both used for the past tense and refer to actions, events, or situations of the past, especially those things of the past which are not happening anymore. Sometimes they can be used interchangeably, but usually they have different usages.

“Would” is the past tense of the word “will.” It is used when typical characteristics or past habits are being mentioned, for example, When she was a child, she would play with dolls for hours.

“Would” is used for situations of the past which are not happening now or are finished, for example, When he was a teenager, he would sleep late on Sundays. The most important thing to notice here is that “would” is used for actions or situations which were repeated again and again. When he was a teenager, which is the age from 13-19, he repeatedly did the same thing over and over gain on Sundays, that is, slept late.

Used To
“Used to” is used for events, situations, or actions that took place in the past, for example, She used to live in New York but moved to Atlanta last year.
“Used to” is used for situations, events, and actions which continue for some time. They did not happen or end abruptly, but they did finish and are not happening now, for example, When she was a child, she used to play badminton every Sunday. It means that throughout her childhood, she continued playing badminton every Sunday. There is a continuation in the action; there is no abruptness.

Sometimes “would” and “used to” can be used interchangeably, for example, When he was free, he “would” go to the movies. Or When he was happy, he “used to” go to the movies. But there are cases when they cannot be used interchangeably, for example, He used to live in Florida but moved to California. Here “would” cannot be used.


1.“Would” is used for describing actions or situations which were repeated again and again; “used to” is used for describing any actions or situations which were extended or continued for a certain period of time including repeated actions. For example, He used to dislike his job. Here the question is, did he hate his job many times over or just this time which was continued for a certain period of time until he had that particular job?

2.The answer is, he hated his job which he was doing now not necessarily all the jobs he had done in the past.

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  1. sorry to say, this answer is not enough,

  2. very good, now i understand the difference between would and used to…thank you this page is very helpful for english students because the explanation is very clear.

  3. hi ….sorry..i did not get the grammer and diffrences between used to and would

  4. I didn’t get the different Betbeen use to & would

  5. unfortunately,i did not get difference between used to & would.im so sorry but in truth, this is not obviously & definitely.

  6. hi…I didn’t get difference between used to and would:(

  7. This answer fails to mention that with ‘would’, a time reference is usually given, whereas in used to it is not. Consider the following:

    A: do you go to the gym?
    B: No, I used to go, but not anymore.

    It doesn’t seem natural in any way to use ‘would’ instead of ‘used to’ here.

  8. To add to that, with ‘would’ a time reference is stated such as ‘when I was a child…’ , ‘when we visited our grandparents as children…’ Or at least it can be implied and then understood in the context of the conversation.

  9. That’s not enough what about the state verbs and the activity ones

  10. Somewhat i got it . But I need some crystal clear explanation for this..

  11. Hi, I wonder if it is correct to say we used to have to take a nap, and in this case can would be used interchangeably

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