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Expressing Past Habits

In this lesson of Learning English as a Second Language, we shall learn:

  • How talk about Past Habits using Used To.

When we want to express a past habit or a repeated action, there are many ways to do that, but today we are just learning how to express a past habit or a past situation using "Used To"

First of all, I would like to tell you that "Used To" is just a verb phrase and it does not mean anything, like , Can , Should , Will and Be Going To do not have any meaning. Instead , they give a meaning, in the same way "Used To" does not have any meaning. Kindly, do not take "Used To" as the verb "Use".

Video Tutorial in English

Video Tutorial in Urdu

If you want to express a past habit , activity or  situation, you can use  "Used To" to express that.

e.g. when I was  young, I used to climb trees.   (a past habit)

       I used to sweep  myself until I bought a vacuum cleaner.  (a past activity)

       When Sara was 8 years old, she used to  be very shy.    (a past situation)

Please remember that  we use "Used To" for a  Past  habit ,  activity or situation not for Present habits or situations.

Structure of Used To

Affirmative :  Subject + Used to + First form of a verb + Object.

                        I         used to         sleep                     in the classroom.

Negative    :   Subject + did + not + Use to + First form of a verb + Object.

                        I          did    not    use to    sleep                   in the classroom.

Interrogative:  Did + Subject + Use to + First form of a verb + Object?

                       Did     you       use to         sleep                     in the classroom?

Short Replies:

1.    A:     Did you use to work in  a bank?

       B:     No , I didn't.

2.    A:     Did she use to exercise everyday?

       B:     Yes , she did.   


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