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Past Simple
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USE 4 Habits in the Past

The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as "used to." To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.

Examples:

  • studied French when I was a child.
  • He played the violin.
  • He didn't play the piano.
  • Did you play a musical instrument when you were a kid?
  • She worked at the movie theater after school.
  • They never went to school, they always skipped class.

USE 5 Past Facts or Generalizations

The Simple Past can also be used to describe past facts or generalizations which are no longer true. As in USE 4 above, this use of the Simple Past is quite similar to the expression "used to."

Examples:

  • She was shy as a child, but now she is very outgoing.
  • He didn't like tomatoes before.
  • Did you live in Texas when you were a kid?
  • People paid much more to make cell phone calls in the past.

You will often find the past simple used with time expressions such as these:

  • Yesterday
  • three weeks ago
  • last year
  • in 2002
  • from March to June
  • for a long time
  • for 6 weeks
  • in the 1980s
  • in the last century
  • in the past
Fill in all the gaps, with the right form of the verb in brackets (Заполните пропуски правильной формой глагола)


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