GRAMMAR

USED TO AND WOULD

USED TO

Another way to express an action in the past is with used to + base form. This structure is used to express:

habits in the past which no longer refer to the present (interrupted actions in the present) ➤ When I was a student, I used to take measurements with a theodolite but now I use a total station.

• past routines ➤ He used to walk to school every day.

Questions and negative sentences: did/didn’t + use to.

I used to live near the school, then I moved downtown. Did you use to live near the school before moving downtown? I didn’t use to live near the school before moving downtown.


WOULD

Would is a synonym of used to but it can only be used:

• with action verbs ➤ They would walk ten kilometres to survey the whole property.

• when it refers to a continuous habit in the past which has not been interrupted in the present.

I would spend hours getting information about the history of ancient buildings.

13 Re-write the following sentences with the correct form of used to.
1. Historically surveyors measured distances with tapes. Now they do the same with electronic instruments.
2. When I was young, I often read Geography books. Now I prefer travelling.
3. Did Mark live near the university when he was an engineering student?
4. That building was the Technical High School for Surveyors, but now the school has been moved to a larger building.
5. In the 19th century surveyors didn’t have computers to draw maps. Now they have full electronic instruments.

14 Choose the correct option.
1. Our grandfather, who was a surveyor, .......................................... own antique nautical maps.
a. would b. used to c. both are correct
2. When I lived in the countryside, I .......................................... go hiking every Saturday.
a. would b. used to c. both are correct
3. In the past, cartographers .......................................... take aerial photos to produce maps.
a. didn’t use to b. wouldn’t c. both are correct
4. In the 1990s, my uncle Peter .......................................... be in the army as a photogrammetrist.
a. would b. used to c. both are correct
5. Unlike my classmates, I .......................................... like Topography when I was at school.
a. didn’t use to b. wouldn’t c. both are correct
6. Did your boss .......................................... have a Japanese computer in the office?
a. use to b. would c. both are correct

Landmarks
Landmarks
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