English Grammar Exercises for B2 – used to and would

1. Complete each sentence with the correct form of used to and the verbs below.

be      be      have      not have      not use      not want

She ________. married, but she isn’t married any more.

He ________. short hair, but now it’s really short!

In the past, people ________. social media, but now they use it all the time.

‘You ________. a motorbike, did you?’ No, but I want one now.’

favourite actor ________. a moustache, but he shaved it off.

I’m not scared of spiders, but I ________. when I was younger.

Show answers

1 used to be  2 didn’t use to have   3 didn’t use to use

4 didn’t use to want   5 used to have   6 used to be

2. Choose the correct answers (a or b) to complete the text.

BEFORE THEY BECAME FAMOUS

Before they became famous, many celebrities 1 ___ have the superstar lifestyles we associate with them today. Glamorous actress and three-time Oscar nominee A Adams 2 ___ as a waitress when she was eighteen. And when Brad Pitt was employed by restaurant chain El Pollo Loco, he 3 ___ to dress as a chicken and wave at passing cars. Rapper and fashion icon Kanye West 4 ___ own such chic outfits when he worked for Gap, folding clothes. And Barack Obama 5 ___ one summer serving ice cream in Honolulu, Hawaii. Apparently the ice cream was so hard that it 6 ___ make his wrists hurt, and he confesses that, of course, he 7 ___ eat too much ice cream, so he doesn’t like it any more!

1   a   wouldn’t  b didn’t use to

2   a   would work  b used to work

3   a   used  b would

4   a   didn’t use to  b wouldn’t

5   a   spent  b used to spend

6   a   wouldn’t  b used to

7   a   would  b used to

Show answers

1 b   2 b   3 a   4 a   5 a   6 b   7 a

3. Complete the second sentence with used to so that it means the same as the first.

1   Ten years ago, this shopping centre wasn’t here.

Ten years ago, this shopping centre didn’t ______________ here.

2   I thought he once lived in New York.

Didn’t ______________ in New York?

3   When I was learning to play chess, I lost a lot of games.

     I _________ when I was learning to play chess.

4   Originally, he wanted to be a professional footballer.

____________ to be a professional footballer.

5   Wasn’t she a waitress in the past?

Didn’t ______________ a waitress?

6   He’s only had a sports car since he became famous.

      Before he became famous, he ______________ a sports car.

Show answers

1 use to be   2 he use to live   3 used to lose a lot of games

4 He used to want   5 she use to be   6 didn’t use to have

4. Complete the text with used to or would and the verbs in brackets. Sometimes both are possible.

In the past, people 1 _____. (find) fame by being an actor, a sports star, a singer and so on. And even very talented people 2 _____. (know) that they’d only get a ‘big break’ by achieving something really special that brought them to the public’s attention. Before the rise of social media, people 3 _____. (not become) famous just for being famous. There 4 _____. (not be) celebrities like Justin Bieber, who rose to fame after posting videos of himself online. But there’s a downside – perhaps careers 5 _____. (not rise) so fast, but they also 6 _____. (not crash) so spectacularly; nowadays a damaging story or photo can go viral on the internet in minutes. And in the past, the famous at least had some privacy and 7 _____. (not need) to be available to their fans on Twitter 24/7!

Show answers

1 used to find / would find   2 used to know

3 didn’t use to become / wouldn’t become   4 didn’t use to be

5 didn’t use to rise   6 didn’t use to crash   7 didn’t use to need

5. Complete the sentences with used to or would and the correct form of the verbs below. There may be more than one possible answer.

bite      eat      know      make      not think      visit

1   I ________. a lot of meat, but I prefer vegetarian food now.

2 We ________. grandparents every week when I was a child.

3   Eva ________. about travelling the world until she went to Holland last year.

4   She ________. her fingernails, but she grew out of it.

5   aunt ________. her own clothes when she was a student.

6   I ________. how to speak French, but I’ve forgotten now.

Show answers

1 used to eat   2 used to / would visit   3 didn’t use to think

4 would / used to bite   5 used to / would make

6 used to know

6. Correct the underlined mistakes in the sentences. Only use the past simple when it is the only correct answer.

1   Most of us would believe in Santa Claus when we were younger. ________________

2   People wouldn’t be so obsessed with celebrities before the internet. ________________

3   Would you use to enjoy eating vegetables as a child? ________________

4   He would study engineering for two years before he became an actor. ________________

5   sister would hate having her hair cut when she was little. ________________

6   Would famous actors use to earn so much money in the past? ________________

Show answers

1 Most of us used to believe in Santa Claus when we were younger.

2 People didn’t use to be so obsessed with celebrities before the internet.

3 Did you use to enjoy eating vegetables as a child?

4 He studied engineering for two years before he became an actor.

sister used to hate having her hair cut when she was little.

6 Did famous actors use to earn so much money in the past?

7. Choose the correct words to complete the dialogue. Sometimes both answers are correct.

Girl Tell me about your best friend at school.

Mum There was a girl called Jo. She 1lived / would live across the road from me and we 2were / used to be best friends for about five years.

Girl 3Did you use to go / Would you go to the same school?

Mum Yes, but she was a year younger than me, so we 4didn’t use to hang out / wouldn’t hang out together at school. But we 5used to see / would see each other every weekend.

Girl What 6did you use to do / would you do ?

Mum Oh, the usual things like listening to music. But when Eurovision was on, we 7used to watch / would watch the show together. That’s what I remember most about her.

Show answers

1 lived   2 were   3 Did you use to go

4 didn’t use to hang out   5 used to see / would see

6 did you use to do   7 used to watch / would watch