We use used to when we refer to things in the past which are no longer true in the present. It can refer to repeated actions or to a state or situation:
Negative Form of USED TO
The negative of used to is most commonly didn’t use(d) to. Sometimes we write it with a final -d and sometimes not. Both forms are common, but many people consider the form with the final -d to be incorrect, and you should not use it in exams:
- Young people didn’t use to be so insolent as they are nowadays.
- I didn’t used to like the videogames when I was young, but I love them now. (don’t use this form in exams).
In very formal styles, we can use the negative form used not to.
- She used not to live as happily as she does now.
Interrogative Form of USED TO
The most common form of question is auxuliary did + use(d) to.
Many people consider the form with the final -d to be incorrect, and you should not use it in exams.
- I think we met once, a couple of years ago. Did you use to work with Salim Darvish?
- Didn’t she used to dwell in the same street as us? (Don’t use this form in exams).
USED TO or BE USED TO?
Used to refers to actions and situations in the past which no longer happen or are no longer true. It always refers to the past:
Abdellah used to sing, but he gave it up. (He sang, but he doesn’t sing anymore).
Be used to means to ‘be accustomed to’ or to ‘be familiar with’. It can refer to the past, present, or future. Be used to is followed with a noun phrase, a pronoun, or the -ing form of a verb.
With a noun phrase:
- Mouna works in a hospital, so she’s used to long hours. (She is accustomed to/familiar with long hours).
With a pronoun:
- I live in a very small village and hate traffic. I’m not used to it.
With a gerund (-ing form):
- He was a bus driver, so he was used to traveling up and down the country. (He was accustomed/was familiar with traveling).
Used To or Be Used To Quiz
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