Lesson Twenty-three

used to

“Used to” describes activities in the past. Something was once true, but now the situation is different. Following “used to,” the main verb is in the simple form:

Subject + used to + _____________ (main verb)

(Don’t forget you have a test coming up at the end of this level.)

She used to work as a waitress, but now she’s working as a photographer. waitressphotographer
Bill used to go out with Donna. couple in restaurant
Now he’s going out with Cynthia.
man with woman

He used to be thin. Now he has a potbelly.

used to be = was / were

Her hair used to be green, and then she changed it to purple. woman with purple hair
He used to go bowling at least two or three times a week, but when he lost his job he couldn’t afford to go out as often. Now he goes bowling just once or twice a month.
I used to take my kids to the park every day. Now they’re too old to go. boy playing in the sand
Soldiers used to use knives, swords, and shields when fighting. Now they use guns.

She never used to wear a helmet when she rode her bike, but after getting into an accident, she wears one all the time.

Use “never” or “didn’t” to make “used to” negative. “Never” sounds a little better.

woman on bike

He never used to have to travel on business, but now he’s away from home at least one or two weeks per month.

He didn’t used to travel on business so often, but now he does.

man traveling

Now try a quiz. If you need more help, watch this video:


Next: Lesson Twenty-four