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

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: 386
Language level: 


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


jwkim0306's picture
jwkim0306 26 June, 2015 - 21:36

When i was little i used to like some milk, but now, i don't drink it very much.....
And when i was little i didn't like to draw, but i like to draw and l really like art :)

17 users have voted.
oumayma's picture
oumayma 29 March, 2015 - 21:26

when i became young many things changed ... i used to hate all salades , vegetarian food en general but now it's my favorite food and it will always be.
then when i was child i used to play with barbies now i became addicted to facebook.

21 users have voted.
Lbird97's picture
Lbird97 24 March, 2015 - 15:26

There is lot of change, especially the height. There is no way to try those so there is not any changes in my eating style. i used to swim, but now i always sleep only.

18 users have voted.