What did you use to do when you were young?



Hola amigos! In today’s episode you will learn how to use the phrase USED TO correctly. Think about this question: what did you use to do when you were young? Hope you enjoy today’s episode! :)



Hey guys, You are listening to English Made Simple, episode 44, cuarenta y cuatro.


Hola guys, my name is Milena from Englishmadesimple.net and I’ve got another episode for you guys that’s full of goodies, full of awesome tips.


Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to listen to this show. That’s all it takes amigos, 15 minutes a day to learn and refresh your memory. Which reminds me, I better start listening to some Spanish podcasts my Spanish skills are deteriorating. I have to keep practising.


So I hope your weekend has been great so far. I, on the other hand, had a busy week. My washing machine broke down and my mobile screen broke as well. I’ve been busy dealing with that and had to buy a new washing machine. So many unexpected expenses this weekend…


Look, before I start I’d also like to say something that’s currently in the news at the moment, and I am not talking about the elections, I couldn’t care less about the election. What I’d like to say is that I have listeners from all over the world as well as the Bahamas and the Caribbean, in light of the recent news about the Hurricane Matthew causing devastation in these areas, I’d like to say my that heart goes out to the people of Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the rest of the islands affected by the Hurricane Matthew, please be careful and keep safe.If you have to, evacuate! Ok, I just feel like I had to say something there.

Now let’s continue with this episode, I’d like to teach you about the phrase “Used To”. That’s 2 words. Use – usar and preposition TO

USE is a regular verb, past tense is USED. And when USE and TO are used together they create a new meaning.

Don’t you love English language? Just when you thought oh wow, I get it now, I understand. Booom, it slaps you across the face and you go back to where you started, which was confusion. Haha But don’t worry, be happy, once you learn the basics of English the rest will fall into place, and you will just get used to English. Alright! So keep listening and keep reading in English, every bit counts.

So guys, today we are going to learn 2 phrases: To be used to something AND used to do something. Two phrases using the common phrase USED TO.


Why is this important to know? Well in the conversational English you will use it often when you start talking about yourself!


You know, when I first came to Chile, the hardest thing for me was to learn the slang! Chilenos speak slang all the time. When I was learning Spanish back in Australia, I didn’t learn slang, it wasn’t there in my Spanish for Beginners book! Mhmm, no sirrie. And it took a little bit longer to get used to, but now estoy cachando! That’s Chilean for estoy entendiendo. I understand.

Now, let’s get cracking!

Let’s learn about the first phrase to be used to something.

If you are used to something, you are accustomed to it – you don’t find it unusual, you are just accustomed to it.  If you get used to something or you are getting used to something you are becoming accustomed to it – look, just have this in mind, here is a tip for you guys: when you want to use the phrase Used To: think about something that was strange before, but now it’s not so strange anymore.

Like for example:

I found Japanese food very strange at first but I’m used to it now.


I found it really strange to drive on the right hand side, but now I am used to it.


Excellent, right!


One more tip for you:

Both of these phrases ‘be used to’ and ‘get used to’ (they mean the same thing) are followed by a noun (or a pronoun),like, or the gerund – which is the ing form of the verb.


For example:

I can’t get used to getting up so early. I’m tired all the time.


He’s not used to the weather here yet. He’s finding it very cold.

When we talk about Be Used to or Get Used to we can they used this in the past, present and future tenses.

For example: When you move to Australia, you might find it strange at first seeing spiders and hearing about shark attacks but you will soon get used to it. That’s in the future. You will soon get used to it.


Right! I hope that makes sense. I started off with an easy one.


To be used to, To get used to – means to be accustomed to it.

What about the other meaning of Used To. When you used to do something in the past?

Used to – something used to happen in the past regularly but it no longer happens


For example: I used to live in New Zealand, but I now I live in Australia.

And guess what, here is a little tip: the phrase “used to do something”- is always in the past, there is no present form. You cannot say I use to do. To talk about the present as in what you do now we use the Present Simple tense… when we talk about hobbies for example. Hmmm sounds like a good episode for English Made Simple. Maybe next one, who knows!


Ok guys, another thing you should know about this phrase: We also use used to for something that was true but it is not true anymore.


Here are 2 examples:

I used to think my husband was unfriendly and arrogant but now I realise he is a very nice person. Hmm interesting…it’s a lie! haha


My friend has started drinking hot chocolate recently. She never used to like it before.


Often people make the mistake of spelling the phrase Used To. This applies to the native speakers as well, not just English learners. The native speakers often make mistakes with spelling, the spelling mistakes are very common so you shouldn’t feel bad when you do make a spelling mistake.


Unless you are sitting an exam in which case you will have to pay special attention to the spelling.

Normally, native speakers make spelling mistakes, they make them all the time!


Since it’s such a subtle sound of the past and the present tenses of Used To and Use to – people will always spell it in the past tense, they will always spell it in the past form not following the rules of grammar.


So, when forming a question we would have to change the verb from its past tense form to infinitive, from USED to USE and then we add the To. The preposition.

Let’s see how we can ask a question using Used To and how we can answer it in the negative form.


Let’s consider this sentence:

I used to play guitar when I was young. Solia tocar la guitarra cuando era joven.


The question form of this would be:


Did you use to play guitar when you were young?

Mhmm, it’s very subtle..


The negative form is:

No, I didn’t use to play guitar when I was young, I used to play violin.


So, we use USED TO, to talk about things that happened in the past and that no longer happen now.

And we also learnt that to get used to something, means to be accustomed to it, or to get accustomed to it.


Now over to you guys, I wanna ask you a question:


What did you use to do when you were young?

And you should start answering the question with something like…with something  like this:

I used to________

and then fill in the blanks! So the question was: What did you use to do when you were young?


Cool, awesome! We are approaching the end of the show!

Thank you for joining me guys, you were awesome as always!


If you enjoyed this episode of English Made Simple Podcast, please share it with your friends who may also find it helpful as well! And secondly: If you haven’t already subscribed make sure you subscribe to this show on iTunes, it will really help me spread the message.


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And remember all transcriptions are available on my website, www.www.englishmadesimple.net and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me a message. It’s been a pleasure! Hope you learnt something new today, until next time. Arrivederci! Ciao!

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