used to, didn’t use to – summary chart
We use used to for past habits or things that happened repeatedly in the past, but they don’t happen any more.
- I used to play chess every day, but now I don’t play very often.
- When the economy was better, we used to eat out every week.
We use used to with non-action verbs (be, have, etc.) for past states: things that were true in the past, but they are not true any more.
- She used to be very shy when she was a child.
- I used to like her music, but now I hate it.
didn’t use to, did you use to?
We use did/didn’t + use to for negatives and questions.
- He didn’t use to travel a lot.
- ‘Did he use to live here?’ ‘Yes, he did.’
We can also use never for negatives
- We never used to argue.
Past simple vs used to
Past simple + always, usually, often, etc.
We can also use the past simple tense + frequency adverbs for past habits.
- I always met her at the bar down the street. (= I used to meet …)
- I usually had a big salad for dinner. (= I used to have …)
Past simple (NOT
But we use the past simple (NOT used to) for actions that happened once or when we mention when they happened.
- Last week I met her at the bar down the street. (NOT I used to meet …)
- I had a big salad for dinner last Sunday. (NOT I used to have …)
usually or used to?
Used to is only used in the past. For present habits, we must use the present simple tense with usually or normally.
- I usually get up very early at weekends. (NOT I use to get up …)
- We don’t usually play on Sunday. (NOT We don’t use to play)