Summary table – used to
used to do
Repeated actions in the past
We can use used to + infinitive to talk about things that we did repeatedly in the past.
- When I was a child, I used to go skiing every winter.
- From the age of 12 till I was 16, I used to dance at weekends.
Situations or states that are no longer true
We can use used to + infinitive to talk about situations or states (stative verbs) which were true in the past, but they are no longer true.
- As a child I used to be blond.
- I used to live with my mum when I was a child.
used to, didn’t use to, did you use to
The negative form of used to is didn’t use to, and we form questions with did you use to. There is no present form of used to. When we want to talk about present habits or present repeated actions, we use the present simple tense with usually, normally, often, etc.
- We usually eat out on Saturday. (NOT
W e use to eat out)
be used to something/doing something
If you are used to something or to doing something, you are accustomed to it. Maybe it’s something that is new, strange or difficult, but you have done it for some time and now you don’t find it new, strange or difficult any more. Be used to is a state, so it is not used with continuous verb forms. It’s normally used with simple tenses.
- When I started working, it was hard to get up at 6 a.m., but now I‘m used to it.
- I’ve been living in England for a short time and I‘m still not used to driving on the left.
get used to something/doing something
If you get used to something or to doing something, you become accustomed to something. Getting used to something is the process of becoming used to something.
- I’ve just started my new job and I‘m still getting used to getting up so early.
- It might be difficult at first, but you‘ll get used to driving on the left.
used to do, be used to doing, get used to doing
The past verb used to is always followed by an infinitive. The word to is part of the infinitive.
- I used to play basketball when I was in school.
After be used to, or get used to, we use a noun or a -ing verb. The word to is a preposition, not part of an infinitive. That is why when a verb follows, it must take the -ing form.
- I‘m not used to this cold and rainy weather.
- I’m sure you‘ll get used to working with John. (NOT
get used to work)