Used to (do)


 A. Study this example situation:
  Dennis stopped smoking two years ago. He doesn't smoke any more.
  But he used to smoke.
  He used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day.
  'He used to smoke' = he smoked regularly for some time in the past, but he doesn't smoke now. He was a smoker, but now he isn't
    B. 'Something used to happen' = something happened regularly in the past but no longer happens:
  * I used to play tennis a lot but I don't play very often now.
  * Diane used to travel a lot. These days she doesn't go away so often.
  * 'Do you go to the cinema very often?' 'Not now, but I used to.' (= I used to go ...)
  We also use used to... for something that was true but is not true any more:
  * This building is now a furniture shop. It used to be a cinema.
  * I used to think he was unfriendly but now I realise he's a very nice person.
  * I've started drinking coffee recently. I never used to like it before.
  * Janet used to have very long hair when she was a child.
    C. 'I used to do something' is past. There is no present form. You cannot say 'I use to do'. To talk about the present, use the present simple (I do).
  past: he used to smoke  we used to live  there used to be
  present: he smokes  we live  there is
  * We used to live in a small village but now we live in London.
  * There used to be four cinemas in the town. Now there is only one.
    D. The normal question form is did (you) use to ...?:
  * Did you use to eat a lot of sweets when you were a child?
  The negative form is didn't use to ... (used not to ... is also possible)
  * I didn't use to like him. (or I used not to like him.)
    E. Compare I used to do and I was doing (see Unit 6):
  * I used to watch TV a lot. (= I watched TV regularly in the past, but I no longer do this)
  * I was watching TV when the phone rang. (= I was in the middle of watching TV)
    F. Do not confuse I used to do and I am used to doing (see Unit 60). The structures and meanings are different:
  * I used to live alone. (= I lived alone in the past but I no longer live alone)
  * I am used to living alone. (= I live alone and I don't find it strange or new because I've been living alone for some time)


  18.1 Complete these sentences with use(d) to ... + a suitable verb.
  1. Dennis gave up smoking two years ago. He used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day.
  2. Liz --- a motorbike, but last year she sold it and bought a car.
  3. We came to live in Manchester a few years ago. We --- in Nottingham.
  4. I rarely cat ice cream now but I --- it when I was a child.
  5. Jim --- my best friend but we aren't friends any longer.
  6. It only takes me about 40 minutes to get to work since the new road was opened. It --- more than an hour.
  7. There --- a hotel opposite the station but it closed a long time ago
  8. When you lived in London, --- to the theatre very often?
  18.2 Brian changed his lifestyle. He stopped doing some things and started doing other things:
  He stopped studying hard/going to bed early/running three miles e3very morning
  He started smoking/going out in the evening/spending a lot of money
  Write sentences about Brian with used to and didn't use to.
  1. He used to smoke.
  2. He didn't use to smoke.
  3. ---
  4. ---
  5. ---
  6. ---
  18.3 Compare what Carol said five years ago and what she says today:
  I travel a lot,
  I play the piano.
  I'm very lazy.
  I don't like cheese.
  I've got a dog.
  I'm a hotel receptionist.
  I've got lots of friends.
  I never read newspapers.
  I don't drink tea.
  I go to a lot of parties.
  I eat lots of cheese now.
  I work very hard these days.
  I don't know in people these days.
  I work in a bookshop now.
  I don't go away much these days.
  My dog died two years ago.
  I read a newspaper every day now.
  I haven't been to a party for ages.
  I haven't played piano for years.
  Tea's great! I like it now.
  Now write sentences about bow Carol has changed. Use used to/didn't use to/never used to in the first part of your sentence.
  1 She used to travel a lot but she doesn't go away much these days.
  2. She used --- but ---
  3. --- but ---
  4. --- but ---
  5. --- but ---
  6. --- but ---
  7. --- but ---
  8. --- but ---
  9. --- but ---
 10. --- but ---


  2 used to have/used to ride
  3 used to live
  4 used to like/used to love/used to eat
  5 used to be
  6 used to take
  7 used to be
  8 did you use to go
  He used to go to bed early.
  He used to run three miles every morning.
  He didn't use to go out in the evening.
  He didn't use to spend much money./... spend a lot of money
  She used to play the piano but she hasn't played (the piano) for years.
  She used to be very lazy but she works very hard these days.
  She didn't use to like cheese but she eats lots of cheese now.
  She used to have a dog but it died two years ago.
  She used to be a hotel receptionist but she works in a bookshop now.
  She used to have lots of friends but she doesn't know many people these days.
  She never used to read newspapers but she reads a newspaper every day now.
  She didn't use to drink tea but she likes it now.
  She used to go to a lot of parties but she hasn't been to a party for ages.