GYG Day 13: Wonderful Wednesday Words: ‘used to’

During a recent trip to the UK, we actually returned to my childhood summer holiday destination, where we ‘used to’* have a caravan and spend most of my holidays. *Talking about things that happened regularly in the past, but NO LONGER happen – in this case because we are talking about my childhood.

Here’s another example for it ‘NO LONGER’ happening:

“I used to play football, but I don’t play very often now”.

The trip was a blast from the past  – walk down memory lane, it reminded me of back then when I USED TO play footy/cricket on the beach, bury my Dad in the sand & go swimming in temperatures that would give me a heart attack nowadays. Back then we DIDN’T USE to have a toilet or shower in the caravan – just a toilet & shower block – ah those were the days!

‘Would’ can be used in a similar way when talking about things that happened regularly in the past.

“I USED TO play footy/cricket on the beach.”

“I WOULD play footy/cricket on the beach.”

Question of the Day: Where did you USE to go on holidays as a kid?

P.S. The well-known Irish Band ‘The Saw Doctors’ wrote a great song entitled ‘I useta love her’.

Use to (do sth) (pflegen, etw zu tun), blast from the past (Eine Begegnung mit der Vergangenheit), walk down memory lane (in Erinnerungen schwelgen), to bury (begraben), caravan (Wohnwagen)

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Are you interested in studying the grammar of ‘used to’ a little more and doing some exercises to check your understanding? Check out Unit 18 (pages 36/37) of the English Grammar in Use.

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4 Gedanken zu „GYG Day 13: Wonderful Wednesday Words: ‘used to’

  1. Jenny Antworten

    I‘m used to swimming in cold water, too, because we used to spend our holidays at the Baltic Sea when I was a kid.

    Hehe, that‘s even a double swotter used to. 😉

      • Jenny Antworten

        Do you happen to know Lubmin? That‘s where the Nord Stream pipeline comes on shore and where you can find GDR’s only but of course now shut down nuclear power plant. At this lovely place we used to spend our summer holidays in the 90s. Nowadays it would be unbelievable to let kids swim and play next to a power plant but back then it was ok and people made jokes about possible effects of radiation.

        • Dave Preston Autor des BeitragsAntworten

          Yep, times have changed. I used to do loads of things I wouldn’t dream of letting my son do today, like climbing trees. I would be a nervous wreck if I saw him half way up a tree. Sometimes we can be overprotective but I guess that’s natural.

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