Describing a Repeated Action in the Past
To talk about something that happened regularly in the past, but does not happen any longer, we use would or used to. Both would and used to can describe repeated actions in the past.
(a) Mij would follow me without a lead and come to me when I called his name.
(b) He would play for hours with a selection of toys.
(c) On his way home… Mij would tug me to this wall.
(d) When I was five years old, I used to follow my brother all over the place.
(e) He used to tease me when Mother was not around.
To describe repeated states or situations in the past, however, we use only used to. (We cannot use would for states or situations in the past.) So we do not use would with verbs like be, have, believe, etc.
Look at the following sentences.
(a) When we were young, we used to believe there were ghosts in school. (Note: believe shows a state of mind.)
(b) Thirty years ago, more women used to be housewives than now. (Note: be here describes a situation.)