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How to say the expression "used to" in dutch

I am having trouble looking for a translation for the expression "used to" in dutch, for example: "I used to live in the united states". Do any of you know how to convey once habitual events?

July 26, 2014



I would use the simple past tense and a time adverb like "vroeger".

So for "I used to live in the United States." I would say "Ik woonde vroeger in de Verenigde Staten."


Kai, is it also possible to say "Ik placht in de Verenigde Staten te wonen"? This option exists in German (with the verb "pflegen"), but it sounds very formal/stilted.


It is correct, but people would look really weird if you say that. And I don't think a lot of younger people would even understand you ;)


Yup, that's possible too!


No problem! I'll also add that it is pretty rarely used too.


Emphasising that point here: I've never heard someone use the word "placht" before, and I'm a native living in the Netherlands. "Vroeger" is the most standard way to do this.


Thank you so much!


So "Ik woonde in de Verenigde Staten" and "Ik woonde vroeger in de Verenigde Staten" insinuate different aspects?


Adding "vroeger" implies it is longer ago. "Ik woonde in" can mean like you lived there last year. If you say "Ik woonde vroeger in", you haven't lived there in many years.

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