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Things I used to do


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Used to – we use this expression very often in English when we want to talk about things which happened in the past, not once, but many times, or things which happened continuously.
For example. “When I was young, we used to go on holiday by the sea.” This means that we went on holiday by the sea, not once but many times.
Or “When my father got home from work, he used to sit down and watch television”. Again, he did not watch television once. He did it many times. It was what he normally did when he came home from work.
Or “Twenty years ago, there used to be a butcher’s shop on the High Street”. The butcher’s shop wasn’t there once. It was there continuously, over a long time.
Here is June. She is going to tell us about some of the things she used to do.
Recently I went back to the town of Newport in South Wales where I used to live when I was a child, until I was 12 years old. I took a bus to the village where I was born. I remember that I used to play in the fields opposite my house. Today there is an industrial estate where the fields used to be. But to my pleasure, very little else had changed. I went to the house where my father used to have his tailoring business. I remembered how I used to play ball against the wall of my house. I used to roller skate with my friends. But best of all, I used to play with my top and whip and ride my bike. The street lamp is still there which used to shine through my bedroom window at night. Then I went to see the house where I lived when I was rather older. And last of all, I visited the road where I used to go to secondary school, but so much had changed that I could no longer recognise the school buildings. It was lovely to bring back into my memory such happy childhood years.
Here is Johnny Nicholas. He is having woman trouble, and tells us about the things he used to do.
Photograph by Humphrey Spender (1910 – 2005) ‘Playing ‘Top and Whip’ on pavement – chalk marks are for hopscotch’ Copyright Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

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