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Used to + infinitive

Average: 3.9 (27 votes)

The structure used to + infinitive is used to refer to a past routine or situation which no longer exists at the present time.

It refers to past habits and states that do not exist today; something that you did regularly in the past but you don’t do now. ‘Used to + infinitive’ can only refer to a past time.

I used to smoke – There was a period in my past where I smoked regularly but I do not smoke now.
I did not use to smoke – I smoke now but there was a period in my life when I did not smoke.

Here are more examples:
Sarah used to drink coffee. Now she prefers tea.
Pierre used to fly from Paris to London. Now he takes the train.
I used to drive to work but now I walk. It’s healthier.
I used to work in an office. Now I go out to meet my clients.

However ‘used to + infinitive’ is not used in a sentence with a phrase saying how often something happened or how long it took:
I worked in a n office for 6 years NOT I used to work in an office for 6 years.
I lived in London for 8 years NOT I used to live in London for 8 ye

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

Now choose the correct sentence from the following:

  • 1. Which is correct?

  • 2. Which is correct?

  • 3. Which is correct?

  • 4. Which is correct?

  • 5. Which is correct?

  • 6. Which is correct?