English grammar: I used to

by Lea Hook / 17 February 2020 / No Comments

This is a popular Phone English lesson: revising the structure ‘used to xxx’ to describe something you did in the past and don’t do now. Also, to practise conversation and vocabulary connected to childhood.

  1. Look at the words in the box below. Which are related to children and childhood?
Rectangle: Rounded Corners:       crayons              nappies              pension	        toys    
      mortgage          homework        grey hair          suit
     to grow up       to be mature     to be immature

2. Think about your childhood. What did you do then that you don’t do now? You can use the words in the box and your own:
           E.g. I drew with crayons

 3.  To talk about things you did in the past but don’t do now, you can use the structure:
Used to + verb
. Talk with your teacher about what you used to do as a child:
            e.g.  I used to draw with crayons

4.  Discuss what you used to do with your teacher. Try to answer with ‘used to…’ Note: In questions with did, we say did you use to…?

a.  Did you use to have a pet?
b.  Did you use to do your homework?
c.  Did you use to work hard at school? 
d.  How often did you use to argue with your parents as a teenager?
e.  How much TV did you use to watch?
f.   What used to be your favourite toy or game?
g.  Who used to be your favourite teacher
h.  Who used to be your best friend?

5. Ask your teacher questions about their childhood using the following prompts:
a.  use/pet?
b.  use/ do/homework?
c.  use/work hard/school? 
d.   How often/ use /argue/ teenager?
e.  How much /TV / use/ watch?
f.  What/used/be/ toy?
g.  Who/used/be/teacher?
h.  Who/ used/be/ best friend?

6. Discuss the following with your teacher:
a. What was good about being a child in the past?
b. Do you think it is good to be a child growing up now? Why, why not?
c. What do you think is different/the same in your country now, compared to the past:
d. school
e. food
f. the internet/mobile phones
g. money
h. jobs
i. environment

Why not practise this structure and vocabulary and discuss this subject with a native English speaking teacher via Skype?

Try a free trial Skype lesson now >>

About the author:

My name is Lea Hook.
I’m am the proud owner of Phone English Online Language School.
Phone English was created in 2004 by Louisa and William when Skype had just been invented, it moved with the times and since then other platforms have been used such as Zoom, Meet etc. I have been working with Phone English since 2013.
In the new year, Phone English will launch a new platform with Learncube.
With qualified and experienced native British teachers already on board living in the UK, I am hoping to expand in the next few years with native English teachers from all over the world with different accents.
In the next few years, I hope that Phone English will be a multi-subject platform with qualified teachers teaching all languages, maths, nutrition and diet, music, writing services, business, and any subject that can be taught online.
January will see a completely new website design and things will be added as we go.
Coming soon, Phone English Juniors, Phone English Spanish, Phone English writing and proofreading services.
It always seems impossible until it’s done-Phone English

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