Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Used to/Would: My First Job

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This is a lesson plan for intermediate adult students in which they learn how to use “used to” and “would” to talk about past habits then use them to talk about their first jobs. Download the handout and key below:

My First Job would used to

Handout

Reading

I got my first job when I was 12 years old. I worked as a paperboy delivering newspapers to people in my village every morning. I used to get up very early and deliver the papers to half of the village while my friend Ben would deliver to the other half. I used to love seeing the empty streets of the village before anyone got up but I used to hate the job on rainy days. I would sometimes ride my bike to get the job done faster. Ben was luckier than me, sometimes if he couldn’t be bothered to do his paper round, his Dad would drive him around his route in his car!

  1. What was his first job?
  2. He had to deliver papers to the whole village T/F
  3. What did he enjoy about his job?
  4. What didn’t he like about his job?
  5. He always did the job on foot T/F
  6. Sometimes someone helped him do his job T/F

Language Focus

Underline all the uses of “used to” and “would” in the text. Both can be used to describe habits in the past.

Complete the rules below with “would” or “used to”:

__________________ can be used to describe past habitual actions, likes/dislikes, states and opinions that are not true now.

__________________ can only be used to describe past habitual actions NOT states and opinions.

Look at the text again, in which cases can we use either “used to” or “would” and which ones can we only use “used to”?

Complete the sentences below with “used to” or “used to + would”

  1. I _____________ be really fat but I’ve lost a lot of weight.
  2. When I was a child I ___________________ play football in the park for hours.
  3. I _____________ hate olives but I love them now.
  4. When I worked in the city centre I ___________________take the metro to work every day.
  5. I ____________________ think that living alone was boring but I’ve changed my mind now.
  6. When I was at primary school we __________________ go swimming every Monday afternoon and on the way home we __________________ stop to buy sweets and Coca-Cola I ________________ love Monday afternoons!

Note: We normally start a story about a past habit with “used to” and then use “would” to describe actions:

I used to work in advertising; I would travel all over the world meeting different clients. On Fridays we would take the day off and go to a casino or a bar.

Practice

Step 1: Write a short text (2-3 lines) about your first job. Include your responsibilities and some things you liked and disliked about it.

 

 

 

Step 2: Read your text to your partner. Then let them ask you some questions about your job:

For example: What did you use to wear? Were you a good employee? Etc.

Step 3: Change partner and tell them about your old job but this time try to do it from memory DON’T READ FROM THE PAPER.

Reflect

  1. Who used to have the most different job to the one they do now?
  2. Whose first job sounds the best/worst?
  3. What are the most common first jobs in your country?
  4. What age do you think people should get their first job?
  5. How can we prepare young people for the stresses of the working world?

Key

Reading

  1. He was a paperboy
  2. False, his friend delivered to half the village
  3. Seeing the empty streets in the morning
  4. Doing the job on rainy days
  5. False, he sometimes rode his bike
  6. False, his friend Ben sometimes got his Dad to help him

 

Complete the rules below with “would” or “used to”:

Used to can be used to describe past habitual actions, likes/dislikes, states and opinions that are not true now.

Would can only be used to describe past habitual actions NOT states and opinions.

Sentences

  1. Used to
  2. Both
  3. Used to
  4. Both
  5. Used to
  6. Both, both, used to
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Author:

Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director.

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