Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

used to

modal verb
     
used to S1 W2
1 if something used to happen, it happened regularly or all the time in the past, but does not happen now:
He used to go to our school.
We're eating out more often than we used to.
did not use to do something
You didn't use to eat chips when you were younger.
used not to do something British English
You used not to fuss like this.
did somebody use to do something?
Did you use to go to church regularly?
2 if a particular situation used to exist, it existed for a period of time in the past, but does not exist now:
Jimmy used to be a friend of mine.
There used to be a large car park on this site.
did not use to be/do something
Why are you so bad-tempered? You didn't use to be like this.
did somebody/something use to be/do something?
Did this building use to be a hotel?
Where did you use to live before you came to Manchester?
GRAMMAR GRAMMAR

If you used to do something, you did it regularly or for a period of time in the past She used to come here (NOT was used to come here) every week. I used to go to that school.!! Do not say 'be used to'. This has a different meaning - see entry used1.!! Use the infinitive after used to, not the past tense My dad used to grow vegetables (NOT used to grew vegetables).!! For talking about a present habit, use usually We usually eat (NOT use to eat) around six. In questions, say did someone use to ...? Did he use to fight with his brother? In negatives, say didn't/did not use to ... He didn't use to smoke. You can also say never used to They never used to ask where I'd been. In formal British English you can also say used not to Buses used not to stop here.

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary