Used to and use to are related phrases that can have the same meaning but are used differently.
- Used to is a verb that indicates a past habit, action, or state. It can also be used as an adjective meaning “accustomed to.”
- Use to also indicates a past habit, action, or state, but it’s only used in combination with “did,” “did not,” or “didn’t.”
|Examples: Used to in a sentence
||Examples: Use to in a sentence
|Sophie lives near the train tracks, so she’s used to a lot of noise.
||Did you use to be a musician?
|There used to be a theater in the city, but it closed down.
||Zack didn’t use to care about politics.
Used to as an adjective
Used to can be used as an adjective to modify a noun. In this context, it’s always used along with a version of the helping verb “be” (e.g., “I am,” “she is,” “they are”).
In the second example above, “working” is a gerund (i.e., a verb in its present participle form that functions as a noun).
Used to as a verb
Used to is a verb used to indicate a past habit, action, or fact that is no longer the case. Used to functions similarly to a modal verb, meaning that it modifies the main verb of a clause.
In this context, “used” is combined with the preposition “to” and the infinitive of a verb (e.g., “walk,” “sing,” “think”).
Use to is a verb
Use to is a version of used to that’s only used in combination with “did,” “didn’t,” or “did not” (this occurs in questions, in negative statements, and for emphasis).
I use to or I used to
I used to can be used to refer to a habit you had in the past but no longer have. “I use to” is incorrect.
Get used to it
Get used to it is an expression meaning “become accustomed to it.” In this context, “it” is replacing a noun that is already known. “Get use to it” is never correct.
Worksheet: Used to or use to
Test your knowledge of the difference between “used to” and “use to” with the worksheet below. Fill in either “used to” or “use to” in each sentence.
- Did you _______ work on a farm?
- I recently moved to Arizona, and I’m not _______ the warm weather yet.
- Chelsea _______ sing in a choir on Monday evenings.
- You didn’t _______ be so moody.
- I _______ struggle with my exercise regime, but I got _______ it.
- Did you use to work on a farm?
- Here, “use to” is the correct form, because it’s used in combination with “did” to form a question.
- I recently moved to Arizona, and I’m not used to the warm weather yet.
- “Used to” is an adjective meaning “accustomed to.”
- Chelsea used to sing in a choir on Monday evenings.
- Here, “used to” is used as a verb to indicate a past habit, action, or fact.
- You didn’t use to be so moody.
- Here, the form “use to” is correct, because it’s preceded by “didn’t.”
- I used to struggle with my exercise regime, but I got used to it.
- In the first instance, the verb “used to” referring to a past action is correct. In the second instance, “got used to” meaning “became accustomed to” is correct.
Other interesting language articles
If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
Frequently asked questions about used to or use to
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