Grammar Chart – used to
used to + infinitive
Repeated actions in the past
We can use used to + infinitive to talk about past habits or things that we did repeatedly in the past.
- When I was a child, I used to go skiing every winter.
- I didn’t use to smoke before I got this job.
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 + infinitive is didn’t use to…, and we make questions with did you use to …
- I didn’t use to do sport as a teenager.
- Did you use to study in the library when you were in uni?
I usually do (NOT
I use to do)
Used to only has a past form. If we want to talk about present habits or things that we do repeatedly in the present, we should use usually, normally, often with present simple.
- We usually go to the cinema on Friday evenings. (NOT
we use to go)
be used to
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 never used in continuous forms. It’s normally used in 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
If you get used to something or to doing something, you become accustomed to something. Get 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 + infinitive, be/get used to + -ing
The past verb used to is always followed by 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)