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)


Subject Used Infinitive Other
I/you/he/she/we/they/ used to talk everyday


Subject Didn’t Used Infinitive Other
I/you/he/she/we /they didn’t used to live together


Did Subject Used Infinitive Other
Did I/you/he/she/we/they/ use to work at 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?)


Subject To be Used to Noun/-ing Other
I am used to living abroad
You/We/They are used to living abroad
He/She is used to living abroad


Subject To be Used to Noun/-ing Other
I am not used to the teacher yet
You/We/They are not used to the teacher yet
He/She is not used to the teacher yet


To be Used to Noun/-ing Other
Am I/Are you/Are we/Is he/Are they used to working with 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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