English grammar: I used to

by Louisa / 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:

Louisa is Course Director at Phone English. She helped start Phone English after many years of teacher training and materials development at www.global-english.com.

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