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used to do

I used to work.

We use used to do to talk about the past. It is not a tense but it is like a tense. It is a special structure. We use the structure used to do for the past only.

Do not confuse used to do with with the expression be used to. They have different meanings.

Structure of used to do

The structure of used to do is:

subject + main verb
+ to-infinitive

Look at the structure again with positive, negative and question sentences:

  subject auxiliary
not main verb
+ I     used to like him.
- I did n't use to work.
? Did you   use to drink?
Used or use?
  • when there is no did in the sentence, we say used to (with d)
  • when there is did in the sentence, we say use to (without d)

Use of used to do

We use the used to do structure to talk about:

past present future
I used to smoke.

Look at these examples.

past present
She used to work in a shop. Now she works in a bank.
He used to watch a lot of TV. Now he doesn't watch much TV.
They used to be married. Now they are divorced.
There used to be a cinema here. Now there is a supermarket here.
I didn't use to go swimming. Now I go swimming.
Did you use to smoke?