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Intermediate English Grammar (B1) Lesson 3 of 25

Used To for Past Tense

Read and listen to four conversations using the grammar.

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Conversation 1

Man: Do you play sports?
Woman: I used to play sports in high school.
Man: Yeah, I used to play, too.
Woman: Why did you stop?
Man: No time, I guess.
Woman: Yeah, I used to have so much free time.
Man: Me too! I miss those days.
Woman: What sports did you play?
Man: Baseball and basketball. I used to be pretty good, not anymore though.
Woman: Yeah, we all get older.

Conversation 2

Man: Do you speak any foreign languages?
Woman: I speak French a little. I used to use it all the time, but not anymore.
Man: Really, why is that?
Woman: Well, I used to work for a French company, and then I changed jobs.
Man: Oh, really? I didn’t know that.
Woman: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I used to go to France once a year for work.
Man: Lucky you! I love France.
Woman: Yeah, France is a lot of fun.

Conversation 3

Man: Are you coming to the party?
Woman: No, I have to work.
Man: Work! What happened? You used to never miss a party!
Woman: True, but I also didn’t use to have a stressful job.
Man: True, you used to be poor, but you were fun!
Woman: Yep! I used to be fun!

Conversation 4

Man: Hey, you used to have a Spanish co-worker, right?
Woman: Yeah, Maria, but she moved.
Man: Really? That’s too bad. I liked her. She used to always make me laugh.
Woman: I know. We used to have such fun together.
Man: She was so nice. She used to give me sweets when I visited your office.
Woman: Yeah, she loved baking. She used to bring cookies and cupcakes to the office every Friday.
Man: Sounds like you miss her.
Woman: I do! We all do.

Used to + base verb

Use the modal used to when talking about past events that no longer occur.

Point 1: We often use used to when asked about present activities.
  1. (Q) Do you play golf?
    (A) I used to play but not anymore. I don't have time.
  2. (Q) Do you play any instruments?
    (A) Not really. I used to play the guitar but not anymore.
Point 2: We often use used to when asked about present activities. We often use the phrase not anymore to clarify that the action does not happen presently.
  1. (Q) Do you cook much?
    (A) Not anymore. I used to though.
  2. (Q) Do you see your friend from school?
    (A) Not really. We used to meet once a week but now we are too busy with life.
Point 3: We often use used to when asked about present activities. In a Yes/No question, we can omit the verb and reply by with just used to followed by but and a reason.
  1. (Q) Do you study French?
    (A) I used to but I gave up.
  2. (Q) Do you you and your family travel much?
    (A) We used to but now we don't have time.
Answer these questions about the interview.

Gap Fill: Complete the conversation with the correct word!

More Grammar Conversations for Intermediate Students (B1)

Grammar Listening Practice

1247 Work from Abroad
B1-01 Do for Emphasis
I do cook a lot.

1247 Work from Abroad
B1-02 Causative Verbs
Let me show you what to do.

1247 Work from Abroad
B1-03 Used to - Past Tense
I used to play sports in high school.

1247 Work from Abroad
B1-04 Would - Past Tense
Well, we would be loud or naughty.

1247 Work from Abroad
B1-05 Should - Suggestions
Well, you should go home them.

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