Often the past habitual verb forms can be translated using “used to …”. However, this is often not the case. The Hindi past habitual is not equivalent to the English idiom “used to …”.
Consider a few examples:
“दादा जी उनके परिवार से बहुत प्यार करते थे” – “Grandfather loved his family very much”
In the previous example, the sense is not that the grandfather “used to love” his family; in English, “used to” can imply that an action was discontinued. The sense of this sentence is that the grandfather did something habitually in the past, he “loved”.
“मैं जाना चाहता था लेकिन मुझे बहुत काम था इसलिए मैं नहीं जा पाया” – “I wanted to go, but I had a lot of work, so I couldn’t go”
In the previous example, the sense is obviously not “I used to want to go”. It is merely describing a past desire, “wanted”. The speaker could have said “मैंने जाना चाहा“, but this is less common.
“लेकिन अब तक पढ़ाई के मकसद से कम ही लोग वहां जाया करते थे” – “Yet so far very few people have gone there with the aim of studying”
In the previous example, an iterative construction was used. The past habitual verb naturally suits the iterative construction. The sense is not “people used to go there”, of course. It is difficult to approximate the sense of this iterative construction in English; it emphasizes the repeated, iterated nature of the action.
Each of these examples illustrates that, although the “used to” gloss is useful, past habitual verb forms need not be translated this way.