Grammar 4-03 | Low Intermediate | CEFR B1

Used to - Past Tense

Listen to four conversations talking about past actions.

Conversation 1

Man: Do you play sports?
Woman: I used to play sports in high school.
Man: Yeah, I used to play too.
Woman: Why did you stop?
Man: No time I guess.
Woman: Yeah, I used to have so much free time.
Man: Me too! I miss those days.

Conversation 2

Man: Do you speak French?
Woman: I speak it a little. I used to use it all the time, but not anymore.
Man: Really, why is that?
Woman: Well, I used to work for a French company, and then I changed jobs.
Man: Oh, really. I didn’t know that.
Woman: Yeah, it was a lot of ftun.

Conversation 3

Man: Are you coming to the party?
Woman: No, I have to work.
Man: Work! What happened? You used to never miss a party!
Woman: True, but I also didn’t use to have a stressful job.
Man: True, you used to be poor -- but you were fun!
Woman: Yep! I used to be fun! (Sigh!)

Conversation 4

Man: Hey, you used to have a Spanish coworker, right?
Woman: Yeah, Maria, but she moved.
Man: Really! that’s too bad.
Woman: Yeah, I really miss working with her.
Man: Yeah, I liked her. She used to always make me laugh.
Woman: I know. We used to have such fun together.

Used to + base verb

Use the modal used to when talking about past events that no longer occur.

Point 1: We often use used to when asked about present activities.

(Q) Do you play golf?
(A) I used to play but not anymore. I don't have time.

(Q) Do you play any instruments?
(A) Not really. I used to play the guitar but not anymore.

Point 2: We often use the phrase not anymore to clarify that the action does not happen presently.

(Q) Do you cook much?
(A) Not anymore. I used to though.

(Q) Do you see your friend from school?
(A) Not really. We used to meet once a week but now we are too busy with life.

Point 3: In a Yes/No question, we can omit the verb and reply by with just used to followed by but and a reason.

(Q) Do you study French?
(A) I used to but I gave up.

(Q) Do you you and your family travel much?
(A) We used to but now we don't have time.

Answer the following questions about the interview.