English edit

Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /juːs(t).tu/, /juːs(t).tə/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Homophone: use to
  • Rhymes: -uːstu, -uːstə
  • Not homophonous with used in the sense of "made use of" (as in "the key was used to open the door"), whose pronunciation is IPA(key): /juːzd/.

Etymology 1 edit

From used, past participle of use ((archaic sense) to be in the habit of)[1] + to.

Adjective edit

used to (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic, with noun phrase) Accustomed to, tolerant or accepting of.
    I am used to cleaning up other people’s mess.  I became used to his ways.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      “Well,” I says, “I cal'late a body could get used to Tophet if he stayed there long enough.” ¶ She flared up; the least mite of a slam at Doctor Wool was enough to set her going.
    • 1921 June, Margery Williams, “The Velveteen Rabbit: Or How Toys Become Real”, in Harper’s Bazar, volume LVI, number 6 (2504 overall), New York, N.Y.: International Magazine Company, →ISSN, →OCLC:
      He was shivering a little, for he had always been used to sleeping in a proper bed, and by this time his coat had worn so thin and threadbare from hugging that it was no longer any protection to him.
Synonyms edit
Translations edit

This section is only for adjectives meaning "used to". For verbs which mean "to be used to", see be used to#Translations.

Etymology 2 edit

From used, past of use ((archaic sense) to be in the habit of)[1] + to (infinitive marker).

Verb edit

used to

  1. (temporal location) Formerly and habitually or repeatedly, but possibly no longer, did.
    I used to be undecided, but now I’m sure.  I used to like that band long ago, and I was surprised I still do.I used to know a guy from the UK who pronounced "mother" with the "r".It used to be me who ran the company.There used to be open fields here. Now it's a shopping mall.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], →OCLC:
      They burned the old gun that used to stand in the dark corner up in the garret, close to the stuffed fox that always grinned so fiercely. Perhaps the reason why he seemed in such a ghastly rage was that he did not come by his death fairly. Otherwise his pelt would not have been so perfect. And why else was he put away up there out of sight?—and so magnificent a brush as he had too.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter I, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC, page 2:
      He used to drop into my chambers once in a while to smoke, and was first-rate company. When I gave a dinner there was generally a cover laid for him. I liked the man for his own sake, and even had he promised to turn out a celebrity it would have had no weight with me.
    • 1980, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson (lyrics), Agnetha Fältskog (lead vocalist), ABBA, The Winner Takes It All
      But tell me does she kiss like I used to kiss you? / Does it feel the same, when she calls your name?
    • 1997, George Carlin, Brain Droppings[1], New York: Hyperion Books, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, →OL, page 94:
      When I was a kid I used to think it was all the same clouds that kept coming by.
    • 2002, David I. Grossvogel, Didn't You Used to Be Depardieu?[2]:
    • 2003, G. E. Kruckeberg, Things My Daddy Used to Say[3]:
Usage notes edit
  • With did as an auxiliary verb (as in the negative and interrogative), use to is considered standard (e.g., Did you use to walk to school?; He didn't use to behave that way!; It's hard to drive without power steering; did people just use to be stronger?).[1] In other situations, such as I use to go to the fair every year, it is considered an error to not write the past tense form used to, which is caused by the two forms sounding nearly or exactly the same.[1]
  • The negative may be formed as used to not or used not to (usen't to, usedn't to), did not use to (didn't use to), or did not used to, the last of which is sometimes considered an error.[1][2]
  • The interrogative is constructed like did [subject] use to...? (did [subject] used to is also found, but is considered an error)[2] or used [subject] to...?, varying by region and era.
  • When it is not necessary to include the following verb, it is usual in some regions to use the verb do as a stand-in (he works harder than he used to do), whereas in others it is usual to use no verb at all (he works harder than he used to).
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
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References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Merriam-Webster: Is It 'Used To' or 'Use To'?
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stewart Clark, Graham Pointon, The Routledge Student Guide to English Usage: A guide to academic writing for students (2016, Routledge, →ISBN), page 296: "In questions, use Did he use to go to Cardiff? rather than Did he used to go to Cardiff? This second version is clearly non-standard. The same applies to negatives: He did not use to play football is recommended usage, but He did not used to play football is non-standard. Note that the alternative He used not to play football on Sundays is correct usage, but too formal for most contexts."

Anagrams edit