How to Use the “Used To” Form in English

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How to Use the “Used To” Form

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We use “used to do” form when we are talking about something that happened regularly in the past but doesn’t happen any more.

Positive Sentence I used to drink five cups of coffee every day but I stopped a year ago.
When I was a teenager I used to love Lily.
There used to be a supermarket but now it’s a restaurant.
Negative Sentence He didn’t (did not) use to workout regularly.
We didn’t use to go out together.
 Question Did you use to watch a lot of TV?
Did she use to exercise every day?

The expression I am used to doing looks quite similar but has a different meaning. We use it when we talk about something we are accustomed to doing, when it has become a habit or something typical for us.

My mother is used to the rainy weather in Vancouver because she has always lived there.
I’m used to playing hockey because I grew up in Canada!

We use the form “get used to doing” when we are becoming accustomed to doing something.

Tony is getting used to speaking Portuguese because he is practicing every day.
I am getting used to listening to the Grammar Kitchen radio program because I love it!

Bonus English Tip

We also use “would” to express something habitual for us in the past but not to talk about past states.

When she was a teenager she used to help her mom with cooking – Correct
When she was a teenager she would help her mom with cooking – Correct


We used to have a cottage in the country – Correct
We would have a cottage in the country – Incorrect

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Alena Khabibullina

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