English Vocabulary

How to use "use"

I'm always uncertain, how to use this verb.

I use to have a swim in the morning.
I usually have a swim in the morning.
I used to have a swim in the morning by nowadays I prefer walking.


  • Hello Gwendo altissimo (or altissima Gwenda, as you prefer),

    I for one have got some information about that matter that was stocked into my workbook. Sooner or later you'll get to come across it too, I guess.

    I'd just make a summary of what's lying in my workbook, trying to avoid using any other language than that wretched English. (That in order not to be rapped over my knuckles by the Security Guard.)

    <to be used to>
    expresses a habbit, it's followed by a noun or a verb in the gerund form:
    To be used to some days of monthly vacation.
    To be used to giving a little something at the reception desk.
    I am used to tipping the attendant.
    They were used to standing for hours. > They were often standing for hours. It was a habit to them.

    <I used to, you used to, one used to, they used to> (preterit of to use)
    expresses a past habit, a habit that is now over, bygone
    Your tip is a perfect example here: I used to have a swim in the morning but nowadays I prefer walking.
    I used to play tennis when I was a child. (by now I don't any more.)
    Philip used to be a very quiet boy.(He is not any more.)

    A easy mnemonic tip:
    If the verb to be comes in the expression, it's followed by -ing form verb.
    - I am used to swimming in the morning.
    If the verb to be doesn't appear in the expression, it's followed by infinitive form of the verb.
    - I used to swim every morning.

    I think your first line in not correct. English speakers never would say "I use to have .." but "I'm used to having..."

    Your second line using the adverb usually is perfectly correct, I think. But the verb to use is not used in that case.

    <to use>
    We musn't mix up those expressions and the simple verb "to use" meaning to employ, to consume, to practice and so on, when conujugated in the preterit or past participle.
    These drugs are used to treat a serious disease.

    <To be used to something/doing> and <To be accustomed to> have an equivalent meaning, even if to be accustomed to may be followed either by the gerund form or the infinitive.
    Jungle animals are not accustomed to live (ou to living) with human beings.

    <to get used to> followed by a noun or a verb in the gerund expresses the fact of "acquiring the habit":
    I can't get used to this work environment.
    Get used to it!

    More on your workbook sooner or later.
    I hope you'll get used to coming here around on a regular basis.
  • First of all thank you for your thorough enquiry you made in the case of "use". What an outstanding workbook must that be! Tell me the secret of this extraordinary organization you must have reached concerning your gymglish material.

    Your correction was very helpful to me, above all the easy mnemonic tip.

  • I don't know which level you are flying in English but it seems to be a high one. I for one have been learning with GymGlish for more than 2 years now and little by little my workbook has swollen. I don't know how it works, do they add grammar notices just as long as you need it or do the notices come on any way? Maybe you never clicked on your workbook in the menu that appears in the front line of any lesson?
    Have a nice week end.
  • Now I see, it's suddenly dawned on me.

    My English level? I don't know. I'm just a beginner with Gymglish lessons. Unfortunately during schooldays I had no chance to visit England or other English speaking coutries to learn by native speakers, so my level is the result of school lessons and some english reading matter after it. So there remains a lot to do.

    Thanks for helping me once more! Have a nice week!


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