Used to and would are modal verbs that we use to talk about past habits or repeated actions in the past that we don't do anymore.
So we can say:
I used to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day.
I would smoke two packs of cigarettes a day.
These two sentences have the same meaning: a repeated action in the past but we do not it anymore.
REMEMBER! We usually use the contracted (short) form of would. We can write the same sentence as:
I’d smoke two packs of cigarettes a day.
Let’s see more examples where you can use both used to and would with the same meaning:
We would play hide and seek with my friends after school.
My brother would play League of Legends on his pc every night.
I would go to a cafe with my friends every weekend.
I would sing in front of the mirror.
My father would snore all night.
We would ride a bike in the village during summer.
These sentences have the same meaning.
We use both used to and would with action verbs like: go, dance, eat, jump, sit, read, swim, ride…
Then, what is the difference between used to and would?
There are state verbs and action verbs in English.
Action verbs are easy, they describe an action, such as:play,run,drink,speak,etc. State verbs describe the way someone or something is at a particular time, such as seem,smell,taste,like,be,etc. We use the state verbs with used to in a sentence to talk about past states.
We use used to with past states. We do not use would with past states.
Let’s see more examples:
- We used to live in Holland. (Not: We
would live in Holland.)
- I used to like getting up late. Now I don’t like it. (Not: I
would like getting up late.)
- I used to think that I was better alone but then I met you. (Not: I
would think that I was better alone).
- I used to love a girl with long brown hair. (Not: I
would love a girl with long brown hair.)
- We used to have a guest room in our old house. (Not: We
would have a guest room in our old house.)