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Wednesday, 27 May 2009 16:20

13 Used to (Past habits)

13.1) We can use the Present Simple to talk about present situation on habit :
>> Situation:
My sister works as a translator.
Andrew lives in London.

>> Habits:
Peter usually wears jeans.
I often eat a sandwich for lunch.
Mila doesn't smoke anymore.
Does John drive to work every day?

13.2) Look at these sentences with the Past Simple:
>> Situation:
Harry lived in France for many years.
>> Habits:
When I was young, I ran three miles every day.

The verbs are in the Past Simple and the sentences are about past situation or habits

13.3) Look at these sentences with Used to:
- Jill used to live in Ireland    
- Many people used to make their own bread.
- My husband used to work at home.

We use used to talk about a past situation or habits that continued for months or years, and to emphasize that the situation today is different :
- Jill doesn't live in Island now.
- Nowadays people usually buy bread from a shop.
- My husband doesn't work at home now.

Compare the Past Simple and used to            
Past Simple:        When he was young, he ran three miles everyday.    
S + V2            (He may or may not run three miles everyday now.)

Used to:        When I was young, I used to run three miles everyday.
S + used to + V    I don't do that now.
            (I don’t run three miles every day now.)

EX:    I didn't ride a motorbike but now I drive a car.
    I used to ride a motorbike but now I drive a car.

We make negative sentences and question with did + use to, didn't use to
- Sue didn't use to like black coffee.
- Paul didn't use to smoke a pipe.
- Did Alan use to cycle to school?
- Did your parents use to read to you?

13.4) We do not use “use to” for present situation or habits:
We use the Present Simple
- Ann sings in a band. (NOT Ann uses to sing in the band)
- Joe doesn't cycle to school. (NOT … doesn't use to cycle)

We often use used to contrast a past habits with what we do now.
- I used to have a motorbike when I was young.
- I used to drink coffee but now I drink tea. (past habits)

There is no present form of used to
I used to work in London but now I work in Manchester.

The past simple is also possible in there examples,
but used to in more common.

- I had a motorbike when I was young.
- I used to play tennis, but now I play football.