I lived in the United States from 2013 to 2014. When I was living there, I went to a church every weekend. I will visit the USA and come to this church next year. When I get there, someone will probably ask me: Is this your first time here?

What would be the correct way to reply? For example:

No, I was used to come here when I lived in this country.

I forgot what kind of tense or structure to use in order to talk about something I've done frequently in the past.

  • You could also say, "I used to attend church here when I was here in 2013." "No, I attended this church in 2013 when I was visiting the US last time." I can't explain the tense.
    – WRX
    Feb 13, 2017 at 13:50

2 Answers 2


Past perfect continuous.

I had been attending your church every weekend when I was here previously.

  • Past because it is in past (you are relating it to a definite past event),

  • perfect aspect because it is something that has occurred/was occurring in the past with a "break" in the timeline of events before now,

  • and continuous because it expresses a periodic or habitual action.

  • Why not the simpler Past Simple in: I attended your church - OR - I came to this church every weekend when I was here the last time?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 13, 2017 at 18:04
  • Hard to explain but it sounds like attending church and being there aren't as related as they are with "had". Like you may not necessarily intend to attend church because you are here, but perhaps some other event obligated you to go.
    – LawrenceC
    Feb 13, 2017 at 18:19

Almost, but without the "was".

I used to come here regularly when ...

"Was used to" is very rare in current English, except when followed by an "-ing", when it is a different idiom:

I used to go ...

= I was in the habit of going.


I am/was used to going ...

= I am/was accustomed to, or comfortable with, going.

In some contexts the two idioms can both fit, but in general they are different.

  • Used to X can but not always imply you don't think X is relevant now or possible now.
    – LawrenceC
    Feb 13, 2017 at 18:21
  • Yes, but I don't think that's relevant, because in the original question it was limited by "when I lived here before".
    – Colin Fine
    Feb 13, 2017 at 20:27

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