We use “used to” to talk about a past habit, something that happened regularly in the past but no longer happens. For example:
He used to drink ten cups of coffee every day, but now he only drinks one cup.
She used to walk to school but now she drives.
I used to play with dolls when I was a child.
We can also use “used to” to talk about a past state, something that was true but is no longer true. For example:
She used to like to listen to rock music but now she doesn’t.
I used to believe in the tooth fairy but now I don’t.
He used to have a mustache but now he doesn’t.
It is very easy to use:
Subject + used to + base verb
It is also easy to form the negative of “used to”. Just like we use “did not” or “didn’t” + base verb to form the negative simple past, we also use “did not” or “didn’t” + “use to” (drop the ‘d‘ in used) to form the negative of “used to”. For example:
I didn’t use to like broccoli, but now I like it!
He didn’t use to work so much.
If you would like to practice using “used to”, click on the links below for exercises and games.