Грамматика

Used to (do)

A. Study this example situation:

 

A few years ago: Dennis smoked.

Today: Dennis stopped smoking two years ago. He doesn’t smoke any more.

But he used to smoke. He used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day.

 

He used to smoke’ = he smoked regularly for some time in the past, but he doesn’t smoke now. He was a smoker, but now he isn’t.

 

B. ‘Something used to happen’ = something happened regularly in the past but no longer happens

  • I used to play tennis a lot but I don’t play very often now.
  • Diane used to travel a lot. These days she doesn’t go away so often.
  • ‘Do you go to the cinema very often?’ ‘Not now, but I used to.’ (= I used to go_)

 

We also use used to_ for something that was true but is not true any more:

  • This building is now a furniture shop. It used to be a cinema.
  • I used to think he was unfriendly but now I realise he’s a very nice person.
  • I’ve started drinking coffee recently. I never used to like it before.
  • Janet 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 present simple (I do).

 

Compare:

past he used to smoke       we used to live        there used to be

present he smokes               we live                    there is

 

  • We used to live in a small village but now we live in London.
  • There used to be four cinemas in the town. Now there is only one.

 

D. The normal question form is did (you) use to_?:

 

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

The negative form is didn’t use to_ . (used not to_ is also possible)

  • I didn’t use to like him. (or I used not to like him.)

 

E. Compare I used to do and I was doing:

 

  • I used to watch TV a lot. (= I watched TV regularly in the past, but I no longer do this)
  • I was watching TV when the phone rang. (= I was in the middle of watching TV)

 

F. Do not confuse I used to do and I am used to doing. The structures and meanings 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 or new because I’ve been living alone for some time)

 

EXERCISES

1 Complete these sentences with use(d) to_ + a suitable verb.

 

  1. Dennis gave up smoking two years ago. He __used to smoke    40 cigarettes a day.
  2. Liz _________________________ a motorbike, but last year she sold it and bought a car.
  3. We came to live in Manchester a few years ago. We ________________________ in Nottingham.
  4. I rarely eat ice cream now but I_________________________ it when I was a child.
  5. Jim _________________________ my best friend but we aren’t friends any longer.
  6. It only takes me about 40 minutes to get to work since the new road was opened. It _________________________ more than an hour.
  7. There _________________________ a hotel opposite the station but it closed a long time ago.
  8. When you lived in London,_________________________ to the theatre very often?

 

2 Brian changed his lifestyle. He stopped doing some things and started doing other things:

studying hard smoking
He stopped going to bed early He started: going out in the evening
running three miles every morning spending a lot of money

 


Write sentences about Brian with used to and didn’t use to.

 

  1. He .used to. study hard 4______________________________________
  2. Hedidn’t .use to smoke 5______________________________________
  3. ___________________________     6   ______________________________________

 

18.3 Compare what Carol said five years ago and what she says today:

FIVE YEARS AGO

 

TODAY
I travel a lot. My dog died two years ago.
I play the piano. I read a newspaper every day now.
I’m very lazy. I haven’t been to a party for ages
I don’t like cheese. I haven’t played the piano for years.
I’ve got a dog. I eat lots of cheese now.
I’m a hotel receptionist. I work very hard these days.
I’ve got lots of friends. I don’t know many people these days.
I never read newspapers. I work in a bookshop now.
I don’t drink tea. I don’t go away much these days.
I go to a lot of parties. Tea’s great! I like it now.

 

Now write sentences about how Carol has changed. Use used to / didn’t use to / never used to in the first part of your sentence.

  1. She.used to travel a lot                   but she doesn’t go away much these days
  2. She used ____________________    but______________________________________
  3. ___________________________     but______________________________________
  4. ___________________________     but______________________________________
  5. ___________________________      but_______________________________________
  6. ___________________________      but ______________________________________
  7. ____________________________    but ______________________________________
  8. ____________________________    but ______________________________________
  9. ___________________________      but ________________________________________
  10. ___________________________      but ________________________________________