UNIT 17. Used to (do)

UK-07 grammar

A

Study this example situation:

A few years ago (David jogging)
these days (David working)

David quit jogging two years ago. He doesn’t jog anymore.
But he used to job.
He used to job three miles a day.
He used to job = he jogged regularly in the past, but he doesn’t job now.

|<=== he used to jog ===>|         he doesn't jog now
+------------------------+------------------------+
past _______________ 2 years ago _______________ now 

B

Something used to happen = it happened regularly in the past but no longer happens:

I used to play tennis a lot, but I don’t play very often now.
David used to spend a lot of money on clothes. These days he can’t afford it.
“Do you go to the movies much?” “Not anymore, but I used to.” (= I used to go)

We also use used to … for something that was true but is not true anymore:

The building is now a furniture store. It used to be a movie theater.
I used to think Mark was unfriendly, but now I realize he’s a very nice person.
I’ve started drinking coffee recently. I never used to like it before.
Nicole used to have very long hair when she was a child.

C

“I used to do something” is past. There is no present form. You cannot say “I use to do.”
To talk about the present, use the simple present (I do). Compare:

Past | he used to play | we used to live | there used to be
Present | he plays | we live | there is

We used to live in a small town, but now we live in Chicago.
There used to be four movie theaters in town. Now there is only one.

D

The normal question form is did (you) use to …?

Did you use to eat a lot of candy when you were a child?

The negative form is didn’t use to …

I didn’t use to like him.

E

Compare I used to do and I was doing:

I used to watch TV a lot when I was little. (= I watched TV regularly in the past, but I no longer do this)
I was watching TV when Mike called. (= I was in the middle of watching a program)

F

Do not confuse I used to do and I am used to doing.
The structure and meaning are different:

I used to live alone. (= I lived alone in the past, but I no longer live alone.)
I am used to living alone. (= I live alone, and I don’t find it strange of difficult because I’ve been living alone some time.)

grammar
kaki en talk ~英語が苦手な日本人エンジニアが書く 英語の日記~ (解説付き)

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