Pontos de gramática

Used to 

Meaning and use 

We use used to + the infinitive to talk about an action that happened regularly in the past but doesn’t happen now. Used to is different to the past simple because it emphasises that the action was repeated many times.

  • I used to drive to work every day, but now I cycle. It’s better for the environment.

We also use used to + the infinitive for past situations. It emphasises that the situations are no longer true.

  • There used to be lots of old forests here, but sadly they’ve all been cut down.
  • I never used to get any exercise when I drove to work, so cycling’s great.



Subject + used to + infinitive.

  • I used to be stuck in traffic jams day after day.

NOT: I am used to be stuck in traffic jams day after day.


Subject + didn’t use to + infinitive. We can also use never used to + infinitive. In more formal or written English, used not to + infinitive is sometimes used.

  • I didn’t use to get any exercise.
  • I never used to get any exercise.
  • I used not to get any exercise.

Questions and short answers

Did + subject + use to + infinitive.

  • Did it use to take you a long time to get to work?
  • Yes, it did. 

Take note: used to

Used to is about the past so there is no present or future form. For the present we say:

  • I usually cycle to work.

NOT: I use to cycle to work.

Take note: didn’t use to and did you use to...?

In the negative didn’t use to and the question did you use to...?, notice that there is no final d on use. This is correct English, although people sometimes put a d on the end.


Used has a soft /s/ sound and we don’t pronounce the letter d at the end of used. We use the weak form of to /tə/ except in the short answer Yes, I used to, where it is pronounced as /tu:/.