Have you been making THIS mistake?

Hi, this is Scott.

Many intermediate – and even upper intermediate – students do not use “used to” correctly. “Used to” can have two very different meanings in English, and there are typical mistakes. An example of the most common mistake I hear with “used to” could be this:

I played soccer last Sunday and the Sunday before. And I plan to play soccer next Sunday.

As you can see, I used to play soccer on Sundays.

This is not correct. Why not?

If you look at this, you will see that the meaning of the pattern “I used to + verb” is a habit in the past. And this is the only way to use this particular pattern.

So the only correct question is “Did you use to (do it)?”, and the only correct answers are, “Yes, I used to (do it)”, or “No, I didn’t use to (do it).”

We’re talking about habits in the past. There’s no way to manipulate or modify this pattern to also be used in the present or the future.

But in the example that I gave, the person is clearly talking about the present – a habit in the present, talking about playing soccer last weekend, next weekend, and for that there really is no need to use any conversation pattern, just the simple present tense:

I play soccer on Sundays.

That would be a great option for the speaker. And the other possibility is:

I usually play soccer on Sundays.

So we’re not going to use in this case, the pattern “I used to + verb”.

For all 150 conversation patterns, if you respect them, you can be confident that you are speaking English correctly. And if you do not respect them, then you are probably making mistakes.

In the course we provide many example contexts for all 150 patterns to help build the correct use of the concepts in a fun and interesting way.

Thank you.