English Daily Workout: Using 'Used to' for Past Habits and States: Lesson and Exercise

Using 'Used to' for Past Habits and States: Lesson and Exercise


In this blog post we are going to work on "used to" to talk about past states and habits. 

Remember that we use this form when we  want to talk about those things we no longer 

do in the present. The first thing that comes to my mind is "Madonna's song "This Used to 

be My Playground".







The Simple Past of the verb to use, followed by an infinitive, generally refers to something which took place repeatedly or continuously in the past, but which no longer takes place.

In the following examples, the Simple Past of to use is printed in bold type, and the infinitives which follow it are underlined. The Simple Past of to use is used.

e.g. The ferry used to operate every day.
       We used to live on Duke Street.

In the first example, the use of used followed by the infinitive indicates that in the past the ferry operated every day, but now it does not operate every day. In the second example, the use of used followed by the infinitive indicates that in the past we lived on Duke Street, but now we do not live on Duke Street.

 Exercise
Rewrite the following sentences, changing the underlined verbs from the Simple Past to the form with used followed by the infinitive. For example:
      They took the bus.
      They used to take the bus.

      She traveled every year.
      She used to travel every year.



Answers:
1. It used to snow heavily. 2. I used to come often. 3. We used to be neighbors. 4. He used to write many letters. 5. They used to walk to work. 6. He used to tease us. 7. She used to tell us stories. 8. You used to ride a bicycle.