Using used to in English

There two common meanings of used to
1. Use(d) +infinitive is used to talk about repeated actions/states in the past.
I used to smoke (i.e. I did smoke, now I don’t)

2. To be +used to + noun/verb+ing is used instead of ‘accustomed to’
I am used to working night shifts (i.e. I am accustomed to it)

Use(d) + infinitive

  • She used to live in England (she lived in England one time but doesn’t anymore)
  • It used to rain a lot more in New Zealand (It doesn’t rain as much anymore)
  • Students didn’t use to be so defiant (one time students were less defiant)


I/you/he/she/we/they/usedto talkeveryday


I/you/he/she/we /theydidn’tusedto livetogether


DidI/you/he/she/we/they/useto workat Spark?


To be + used to + -ing

  • I am used to getting up at 6am now (I am accustomed to it)
  • She is not used to working night shifts (she’s not accustomed to it)
  • Are you used to driving overseas? (are you accustomed to it?)


SubjectTo beUsed toNoun/-ingOther
Iamused tolivingabroad
You/We/Theyareused tolivingabroad
He/Sheisused tolivingabroad


SubjectTo beUsed toNoun/-ingOther
Iam notused tothe teacheryet
You/We/Theyare notused tothe teacheryet
He/Sheis notused tothe teacheryet


To beUsed toNoun/-ingOther
Am I/Are you/Are we/Is he/Are theyused toworkingwith children?

The pronunciation of ‘used to’ above is the same for both meanings, and is pronounced as yoost to or /juːstə/

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