Using used to in English at Level B1

Using used to in EnglishIn this lesson, we will look at using Used to in English.

There two common meanings of used to

1. Use(d) +infinitive is used to talk about repeated actions/states in the past.
I used to smoke (i.e. I did smoke, now I don’t)

2. To be +used to + noun/verb+ing is used instead of ‘accustomed to’
I am used to working night shifts (i.e. I am accustomed to it)

Use(d) + infinitive

  • She used to live in England (she lived in England one time but doesn’t anymore)
  • It used to rain a lot more in New Zealand (It doesn’t rain as much anymore)
  • Students didn’t use to be so defiant (one time students were less defiant)


Subject Used Infinitive Other
I/you/he/she/we/they/ used to talk everyday


Subject Didn’t Used Infinitive Other
I/you/he/she/we /they didn’t used to live together


Did Subject Used Infinitive Other
Did I/you/he/she/we/they/ use to work at Spark?

To be + used to + -ing

  • I am used to getting up at 6am now (I am accustomed to it)
  • She is not used to working night shifts (she’s not accustomed to it)
  • Are you used to driving overseas? (are you accustomed to it?)


Subject To be Used to Noun/-ing Other
I am used to living abroad
You/We/They are used to living abroad
He/She is used to living abroad


Subject To be Used to Noun/-ing Other
I am not used to the teacher yet
You/We/They are not used to the teacher yet
He/She is not used to the teacher yet


To be Used to Noun/-ing Other
Am I/Are you/Are we/Is he/Are they used to working with children?

Some example sentences using USED TO:

  • They used to live in the city, but now they’ve moved to the countryside.
  • I used to have a favourite pen, but I lost it a few years ago.
  • I always used to walk to school when I was a child.
  • I never used to like coffee, but now I can’t start the day without a cup.


The pronunciation of ‘used to’ above is the same for both meanings, and is pronounced as yoost to or /juːstə/


Now test your skills with the exercise on using used to in English the next page.

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