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Used to and Would

Difference between Used to and Would

Used to and would, both words are used to describe actions which were repetitive in the past. These usually describe those actions which are not happening anymore. They are, sometimes, used interchangeably but they also have different usages.

Used to

The phrase ‘used to’ is used to describe events or actions which happened in the past. It is used for those actions which continue for some time and did not end abruptly, that means there is a continuation of actions, no abruptness. For example,

  • My dad used to listen to the classical music.
  • He is used to being idle.
  • When my father was young, he used to go fishing.


‘Would’ is the past tense of ‘will’. It is used to describe past habits or typical characteristics. It is used for those habits which are not happening anymore. Moreover, would is used for those actions which were repeated again and again. For example,

  • When he was a kid, he would wake up to the sound of birds chirping.
  • When I was young, I would sleep late on weekends.
  • When she was a little girl, she would play with her doll for hours.

In some situations, both phrases, ‘used to’ and ‘would’ can be used interchangeably, for example, when she was happy, she would go to movies. Or, when she was free used to go to movies.


Would is used for those actions which were repeated again and again in the past but are not happening anymore.

Used to is used for those repeated actions which continued or extended for some time in the past.

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