Sophie is working closer to home this week. She’s in London and she has a surprise for Oliver and Daisy.

67

We use used to + verb for talking about states or actions that were true or happened in the past, but are not true or do not happen now.

Can you give me some examples?

Yes, of course. 

London’s nothing like it used to be!
She used to go away on really long trips.

OK. So now she doesn’t go away on really long trips?

Exactly. Used to is always for talking about actions or states in the past that are not true now.

The record shop I always used to visit is now a really cool café. (I don’t visit the place now.)

Why can’t you use the past simple?

Well, you can, of course. But we use used to to emphasise that the state or action is not true now or does not happen now.

What about the negative?

We use do in the past + not + the infinitive, use to + verb. The question is formed in a similar way.

He didn’t use to wear nice clothes and recently he’s been looking quite cool.
So what else did you use to go to London for?

That’s quite a long construction – three verbs!

Yes, but used to doesn’t change – it’s always in the past simple.

Always in the past simple? So you can’t use it in the present?

No, it’s a strange verb. We only use it in the past.

I think I used to use it in the present too.

Oh dear. You won’t any more, will you?

No, I didn’t use to know the rules, but now I do.

 

Total votes: 975
Language level: 

Discussion

How have you changed, compared to when you were little? What activities did you use to do that you’ve stopped doing now?

Comments

Dalmar's picture
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Dalmar 26 December, 2015 - 19:02

I used to learn english in a private school in my home country when I was small but now I use my english knowledge here in Sweden. I mean I have advantage with my little english here :)

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134 users have voted.
mahfuz's picture
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mahfuz 19 October, 2015 - 18:34

I used to hang out with my all friends every weekend. Now I stop going someone who talk behind someone back . It's makes me frustration.. :D

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119 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 25 September, 2015 - 13:48

When I was small, I used think that Sunday was the day which has sun and I believed that ghosts were true .It is so funny. I wish I could comeback to my childhood,it is so peaceful and happy.

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120 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 26 September, 2015 - 14:34

Aha ha, gianggiangphi!
You're so ingenuous! I like that!!
I think of nothing better than a childhood, but, you know, you're lucky, so do I!
People have different histories… :|

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119 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 26 September, 2015 - 17:45

Hi Elsa, I am not very lucky. I wish I could comeback to my childhood because I want to run away from present. As you know ,my current situation is bad ( I shared on " Bully"- easy reading) But I will be stronger. I won't care about things that my classmates say any more. I have got a scholarship ( I am very happy). I determine to make my dream become true.
best wishes, hope to receive your reply soon
giang

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111 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 27 September, 2015 - 13:20

Hi giang, thank you for the reply.

Oh my dear, the comment makes me feel a bit heart-wrenching. Want to run away from current situation??
Well, I think I understand how you feel and I presume that you seem to have a strong sense of responsibility, unlike me!! I think you don't have to be stronger; you just have to take a load off your mind.
However, remember:
"Don't let idiots ruin your day"!!!!
I would say if you let them do, who do you think will suffer most??
It's not you, but your first woman in the world!! You're not alone!!
So try to think about people whoever care about you, not about the selfish people!!
I hope you will develop your great merits! ツ
Good luck!
Elsa

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122 users have voted.
dogee's picture
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dogee 24 September, 2015 - 17:41

When I was a child, I didn't use to eat beets and cabbage . Now I love it very much. When I was a child I didn't use to sleep, but now i used to like sleep very much. I would love to go back to childhood с:

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114 users have voted.
PinkyTune's picture
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PinkyTune 20 September, 2015 - 16:31

I used to be shy when I was a little girl. Now, I have recovered from the being-shy disease. If I go straightforward, then - I have overcome my shyness.

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107 users have voted.
KingWolf99's picture
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KingWolf99 17 July, 2015 - 17:53

When I was a child, I didn't use to eat cheese. Now I love it. I also didn't use to play piano and study languages. I used to play and sleep, nothing else.

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118 users have voted.
cristophersaa's picture
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cristophersaa 8 July, 2015 - 17:17

when I was child I used to be quiet but now I love speak.
I used to go the museum but now I don't.

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103 users have voted.
Eseban's picture
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Eseban 7 July, 2015 - 19:19

when i was child i used to practice tennis but now i don't
i used to watch dragonball but now i don´t

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100 users have voted.
mike95rob's picture
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mike95rob 7 July, 2015 - 05:07

when I was a child I used to watch cartoons but now i do not and I used to play soccer with my friends every day but now I don't

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95 users have voted.
nandosc9's picture
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nandosc9 7 July, 2015 - 03:43

I used to eat dirt...No really, I'm kidding.
When I was child, I used to live with my granny, my mum used to work in a bank, she didn't used to stay in home. I didn't used to talk with other kids, I dont know why... just, didn't like me. I used to disassemble any electronic device, I was quite curious.

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101 users have voted.
stephania1799's picture
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stephania1799 7 July, 2015 - 00:54

When I was little I used to hate pizza and peppers but now I love it. I used to watch Dennis the menace, cartoons and play hopscotch.

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85 users have voted.
stephania1799's picture
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stephania1799 7 July, 2015 - 00:53

When I was little I used to hate pizza and peppers but now I love it. I used to watch Dennis the menace, cartoons and play hopscotch.

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70 users have voted.
fernanda2000's picture
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fernanda2000 6 July, 2015 - 03:37

when I was a child I used to practice karate in Karate Federation but now I don't practice...
when I was a child I used to play with my friends every day but now I don't

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70 users have voted.
JennySam's picture
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JennySam 5 July, 2015 - 20:44

When I was a child I used to watch Doraemon buy now I don't. I used to hate broccoli but now It's my favorite food. When I was a child I didn't use to have cellphone, but now I have two cellphones. When I was a child I used to play in the park, but now I see a lot of TV.

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60 users have voted.

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