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'Used to' for Intermediate Level Students

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Used to is commonly applied to either speak of a past habit or a situation we are accustomed to. However, the structure that follows 'used to' will be determined by the intended meaning.

For example: used to + infinitive = past habit. For example: I used to smoke but not now.

Verb to be + used to + gerund = an accustomed situation. For example: I am used to smoking; I smoke a packet a day.

The 'verb to be' changes according to the time we refer to, for example:

When I was younger I was used to smoking, now I am not.
You will be used to smoking in a few days if you smoke every day

We can also use a form of 'to get' used to something.

If we don't use a gerund, a noun could also be used. For example: I am used to spicy food.

'Used to' Reading

Read the following paragraph about Danica and choose the correct form of 'used to' for the gaps:

I used to (1) living/live on a farm before I moved to Cape Town. I had never before lived in a city and was not used to the traffic, the noise and the amount of people!

When I lived on the farm, I used to (2) drive/driving kilometres on dirt roads to get to the nearest shops. That soon changed and today I am so used to (3) walk/walking to all the shops I can almost not imagine the lifestyle that I used to (4) having/have! I quickly got used to the noise and the buzz of the city and I never want to live anywhere else!

True or False

Based on the paragraph above, are the following questions true, false or not given?

1. Danica doesn't live on a farm anymore.
2. When she moved to the city the noise was normal for her.
3. She was accustomed to driving for kilometres to the shops while she lived on the farm.
4. Danica drove long distances quite regularly, but not now.
5. It is strange and difficult for her to be walking to all the shops now.
6. She loves the noise of the city.

Give your answers to the 'Used to' Reading here:

  • 1 - "I used to ___ on a farm..."

  • 2 - "I used to ___ kilometres on dirt roads..."

  • 3 - "I am so used to ___ to all the shops..."

  • 4 - "...I can almost not imagine the lifestyle that I used to ___!"