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Difference between “used to” and past simple

“Used to” refers to past habits and states. If we say that somebody used to do something, we mean that some time ago he was in the habit of doing this, but he no longer does it now. Here are some examples:

  • ‘I used to smoke 30 cigarettes a day, but I gave up when I became convinced that smoking causes cancer.’
  • ‘I didn’t use to like cricket, but now I’m getting interested in it.’
  • ‘Didn’t he use to be vegetarian?’ ‘Yes, he did, but he started eating meat last winter and now he’s a real carnivore.

Past simple, on the other hand, describes something which happened at a definite point in time in the past. Thus:

  • ‘I bought one of Lady Di’s dresses at an auction in Boston.’
  • ‘When did you meet your husband?’ ‘I met him in 1992, but we didn’t get married until quite recently.’



1. LordPaoZ - April 20, 2013

thank you very much!

2. taofeeq - February 20, 2012

Well done

3. kulais - November 1, 2011

what is the difference between these sentenses;

to know & to be known

English is hard to learn.
English is hard to be learnt
(I know the first is more correct. ) But why?

Nichola - November 17, 2011

“Learnt” is the past simple of the verbs to learn, we would use it to say that in the past english was hard to learn, and it wouldn’t be used with to be.
Hope that answers your question.


4. kulais - November 1, 2011

what is the difference between these sentenses;
I used to go to school.
I went to school regulary.
I worked 100 hours a week so I got bored……
I used to work 100 hours but now I don’t work any more

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