In this lesson, we will be learning about the use of “used to”.

The structure used to + infinitive is used to talk about past habits, jobs, or hobbies we no longer practice or which we replaced with the new ones.

  • I used to play a lot of football when I was younger; now I go to the gym.
  • They used to be good friends, but now they hardly ever meet.
  • My grandpa used to be a mayor before he retired.

The negative form of used to is: didn’t use to.

  • I didn’t use to drink coffee, but now I do.
  • My hometown didn’t use to be so polluted, but it is now.

The interrogative form is: Did you use to…?

  • Did you use to collect stamps when you were younger?
  • Did they use to walk every evening while on holiday?
  • Did you use to get up early when you were younger?


The structure used to + infinitive cannot be used to say frequency or duration.

I used to visit Rome many times.

I used to live in this neighbourhood for 10 years.

Remember that you can use “would” to talk about past habits too, but only with action verbs, not state ones.

  • Our grandma would read us stories when we were little.

We can also say it with “used to”

  • Our grandma used to read us stories when we were little.

Read more about how to use “would” for past habits.

 Use of "Used to"
Use of “Used to”

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