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Contrasting past and present

Average: 4.2 (13 votes)

Used to

We use 'used to' to talk about habits and states in the past that do not take place any longer.
I used to go jogging every day. (but now I don't)
She used to be a heavy smoker. (but now she isn't)

There is no equivalent form for the present.
I usually go to the gym every afternoon. NOT I use to go to the gym every afternoon.

We can also use the past simple instead of ‘used to’.
I went jogging every day.
She was a heavy smoker.

'Not...any longer', 'not...ny more'

We can add phrases like 'not…any longer', 'not…any more' to 'used to'.
I used to go jogging every day, but I don't any longer.
She used to be a heavy smoker, but she doesn’t smoke any more.


We use still to show that the action or state has not stopped or changed, but continues in the present.
I still go jogging every day.
She is still a heavy smoker.

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

Add the correct word/phrase to the following:

  • 1. When I was young I _ my dog for a walk every morning.

  • 2. As a child Sarah _ very shy.

  • 3. I _ Japanese food, but now I do.

  • 4. Mr Jones doesn’t work here _.

  • 5. There are _ some very old buildings in the centre of town. They are worth seeing.

  • 6. When we go out we _ have a lot of fun even though we are not that young any more.

  • 7. I _ wake up early when I was younger. Now it’s harder.

  • 8. I _ go backpacking around Europe when I was a student. Nowadays I prefer to travel in comfort.