4.1 PRESENT AND PAST HABITS

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término English
definición English

RULE a) Use "used to + infinitive"
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for activities and states that happened regularly in the past but not now.

RULE b) Use "would + infinitive"
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for regular activities in the past which no longer happen now.

RULE c) Use frequency adverbs (always, usually, generally, normally, tyypically, etc.) + present simple or past simple
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for present habits (present simple); for past habits (past simple)

RULE d) Use "always + present continuous
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to talk about repeated activities that are often annoying.

RULE e) Use "will + infinitive"
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to talk about activities which are present habits, often with frequency adverbs.

We used to have more free time...
activities and states that happened regularly in the past but not now
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used to have

People would sit around and watch TV or read.
regular activities in the past which no longer happen now
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would sit

Why are they always talking on their mobiles?
repeated activities that are often annoying
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are... always talking

... or they'll often play a computer game together.
activities which are present habits, often with frequency adverbs
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'll... play

They usually watch YouTube clips together...
present habits
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usually watch

Connected Speech: contractions
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Listen to the examples of fast connected speech. Write 'd, 'll or present simple (PS) for each sentence.

We’d sit around and watch TV.
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'd

We sit around and watch TV.
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Present Simple

I’ll make a coffee and check my email.
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'll

I make my coffee and check my email.
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Present Simple

They play computer games.
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Present Simple

They’d play computer games.
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'd

I’ll phone her first thing every day.
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'll

I phone her first thing every day.
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Present Simple

Complete the readers' comments about the article "More free time than ever?"
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Use present and past habits. Write one word in each gap.

I remember 1995, and it does seem like I had more free time then. I (1) to meet friends a few times a week.
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I remember 1995, and it does seem like I had more free time then. I used to meet friends a few times a week.

Now we (2) get together once a month max.
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Now we'll get together once a month max.
(will)

Everybody is (3) blaming technology and work. So quit your job and turn off your mobile! And stop whining.
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Everybody is always blaming technology and work. So quit your job and turn off your mobile! And stop whining.

Remember, it didn't (4) to be like this.
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Remember, it didn't use to be like this.

I can identify with this article. In my twenties I (5) commute three hours a day to and from work
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I can identify with this article. In my twenties I'd commute three hours a day to and from work
would

and I (6) worked on the train. I never seemed to switch off.
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and I usually worked on the train. I never seemed to switch off.
always/usually/normally/generally/typically/

Young people don't understand. They (7) happily spend hours sitting next to each other in a café and never saying a word.
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Young people don't understand. They'll happily spend hours sitting next to each other in a café and never saying a word.
will

When I was their age my friends and I (8) talk for hours.
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When I was their age my friends and I would talk for hours.

On a day off I (9) nearly always check my work emails, and then I get into the whole internet thing.
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On a day off I'll nearly always check my work emails, and then I get into the whole internet thing.
will

But doesn't everybody (10) do this?
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But doesn't everybody generally do this?
normally/generally/typically

Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first.
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Use the word(s) in brackets in your answer.

I hate the way Mike comes up behind people and looks over their shoulders.
Mike (always) shoulders.
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Mike is always coming up behind people and looking over their shoulders.

What was your address before you moved here?
Where (to) live?
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Where did you use to live?

I'm quite a spontaneous person and I often start conversations with strangers.
I'm quite a spontaneous person and (will) conversations with strangers.
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I'm quite a spontaneous person and will often start conversations with strangers.

Pollution was never a rural problem, only an urban one.
Pollution didn't (be) only an urban one.
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Pollution didn't use to be a a rural problem, only an urban one.

In the 1960s the authorities used to keep track of all their citizens movements.
In the 1960s (would) all their citizens movements.
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In the 1960s the authorities would keep track of all their citizens movement

Peggy used to borrow money all the time and never pay it back. That was really annoying.
Peggy was (borrowing money) back.
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Peggy was always borrowing money and never paying it back.


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