If you follow the Word of the Day section on this website, you have heard the word "use" when referring to how a word can function in a sentence as a verb, a noun, an adjective, etc. In these sentences, I’ll show some other ways to use "use."

simplepastpast participle
  • I use my car to get to work.
  • Sometimes I use the bus or my bike.
  • What do you use for transportation?
  • Many people these days use a cell phone for making phone calls and browsing the internet.
  • Do you use Twitter or Facebook?
  • Many teachers these days use computers when they teach a class.
  • I used to use a chalkboard when I first started teaching. Now I use a whiteboard.

It’s very common to hear the word "use" when talking about cooking and eating:

  • Bob uses a lot of ketchup when he eats french fries.
  • Don’t use too much salt. It isn’t good for you.
  • Sarah used up all the eggs when she made breakfast this morning. (use up = use all of something)
  • How much sugar did you use to make your cookies?
  • I like to use fresh ginger and garlic when making Chinese food.

Of course, the word "use" is often applied when talking about grammar, spelling, and punctuation:

  • Are you good at using irregular verbs?
  • It’s necessary to learn how to use adjectives and adverbs properly.
  • When spelling words that end in a "y," use an "i" instead of a "y" if those words are plural or in the past tense.
  • You should always use a period at the end of a statement and a question mark at the end of a question.

As a noun, the pronunciation of this word changes to use (The "s" sounds like an "s."). This is an important difference.

  • A cell phone has many different uses.
  • Do you use a cell phone? (In this question, "use" is a verb. Do you hear the difference?)
  • I had no use for an English book, so I gave it to one of my students.
  • The use of a dictionary is helpful when you study.

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.

The page was first published on April 1, 2012. It was updated on February 26, 2015.