Used to vs. Use to

Common Mistakes in English

A common mistake both for learners of English as well as native speakers is the difference between “Used to” and “Use to” and when (or if) we put the letter D at the end of the verb.

First let’s look at the meaning of it:
Used to = an action or habit that was common in the PAST but not anymore.

This should not be confused with
To be used to = accustomed to something (normally out of habit or experience)

Notice how Used to ends in –ed which normally means the verb is in the past tense.

These sentences refer to a past habit or a continuous action in the past and they are affirmative.


Used to in Negative

If we want to make a negative sentence, the didn’t part shows that we are talking about the past tense.
It is NOT common to use Used to in negative form though we will show you how to do it anyway.

Compare the normal past tense:

And now let’s see a sentence with Used to:

Many times we use never instead of didn’t. In this case we use “used” in past tense. Compare:

Used to in Questions

As with normal questions in the past tense, we use the base form of the verb (not the verb in past tense), since the auxiliary DID shows us that the question is in the past tense.

Some more examples

Why do people sometimes write Use to instead of Used to in English?

Well, when we say used to, the final D in the verb used is pronounced like a T and since the next word (TO) also begins with the T sound, it seems like there is only one T (that belonging to the word TO).
When speaking, we frequently run words together (join words) so it would sound like Use-to.

Used to and Would

Sometimes we can replace Used to with Would.

See more about the uses of Would.

So… you used to find this difficult, didn't you? (And now you don't)

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