“Used to” is a crucial grammar topic for English learners. It allows them to talk about things in the past as well as helping them express habits or actions that they are accustomed to doing regularly.
Grammar-based conversation practice that focuses on using “used to” can improve learners’ overall English fluency by providing them with the vocabulary and grammar structures necessary to communicate about their personal experiences and routines.
Additionally, the use of “used to” is quite common in everyday conversation, making it a practical topic for learners to master. By practicing and becoming comfortable with using this term, learners can enhance their communication skills and confidence in English.
Breakdown and Examples
English speakers use “used to” to talk about things from the past that are no longer true or relevant, as well as things that they were accustomed to doing regularly.
Past Habits or Situations
When talking about past habits, the grammatical structure of “used to” is as follows: Subject + used to + base verb.
I used to smoke, but I quit a year ago.
She used to swim every morning before work.
They used to live in New York, but they moved to California last year.
Here, “used to” indicates that these actions or habits were true in the past, but they are no longer true in the present.
When talking about present habits or things that someone is accustomed to doing, the grammatical structure of “used to” is slightly different. The structure is: Subject + be + used to + base verb. For example:
I am used to waking up early because of my job.
She is used to studying for several hours each night.
They are used to eating spicy food because they grew up in a culture where it’s common.
In these examples, “used to” indicates that the subject is accustomed to or familiar with something, and it has become a habit or routine for them.
It’s important to note that the difference in structure is the presence of the verb “be” when talking about present habits. This distinction is critical for learners to understand so that they can use “used to” correctly in conversation.
Get + Used To
“Get used to” is commonly used in English to describe the process of becoming accustomed to something.
To use “get used to” in a sentence, you need to follow a specific structure. The structure is: Subject + get + used to + (noun or verb with -ing)
Here are some examples:
I’m getting used to the new job. (present continuous)
She got used to the cold weather after a few weeks. (past simple)
They’re trying to get used to the new time zone. (present continuous)
In each of these examples, “get used to” describes the process of becoming accustomed to something over time.
- What kind of music did you used to listen to when you were younger?
- Are you used to speaking English all the time?
- Did you use to play any sports when you were in school?
- Did you use to travel a lot when you were younger?
- Are you used to doing any kind of exercise routine every week?
- Did you use to have any pets when you were growing up?
- What did your family used to do for the holidays when you were growing up?
- What are some of the things you are used to eating in your culture?
- Are you used to speaking with people from different cultures?
- Are you used to getting up early?
- What kind of movies did you use to watch when you were younger?
- Do you think you could get used to a vegetarian or vegan diet?
- Did people use to be more polite in the past than they are now?
- Did you use to have a favorite toy or game when you were a child?
- Are you used to driving on the left or right side of the road?
- Should people try to get used to a new culture quickly, or take their time to adjust?
- Do you think people used to have better or worse health in the past than they do now?
- What kind of technology are you used to using in your daily life?
- Do you think people used to value education more in the past than they do now?
- Should people get used to public speaking by practicing alone or by speaking in front of an audience?
- Do you think people used to have better manners in the past than they do now?
- Do you think people used to be more punctual in the past than they are now?
- Have you ever had to get used to a new work schedule? What was it like?
- Do you think people used to read more books in the past than they do now?
- Do you think people used to be more family-oriented in the past than they are now?