GE|Pre-Int||7. The way things used to be

School marks

How are things at school?


Answer the questions




1. What did your parents and grandparents tell you about their childhood and school years?
2. What were your parents’ favourite school subjects?
3. What games did they like when they were children?
4. What hobbies did they have?

Imagine that you can ask your parents about their childhood. Finish the questions

School memories

Listen to the recording and match the question with the speaker


Listen to the woman and tick the things she liked


I used to like school

Look at the sentences the woman says and tick the meaning


When we speak about things that happened in the past, but don’t happen now, we can say:


I used to read a lot. (But I don’t read a lot now).
We used to live in Moscow. (But now we live in another city).

Used to V is the same with all pronouns.

Rewrite the first sentence using «used to V»

I didn’t use to like school

Make the negative sentences with used to V

We use «didn’t + use to V» to make negative sentences.




Listen and write down the sentence you hear. Then practise the pronunciation

We pronounce the construction «used to» like this: /’ju:stə/

School reports

Read the teacher’s notes about famous people and make sentences with «used to V»

Example: Winston Churchill used to be late for school.

…used to…
…didn’t use to…


Winston Churchill

«He’s always late for school and constantly «forgets» to bring his homework!»


Kate Middleton

«She must try to be less emotional with others.»


John Lennon

«He’s a clown in the class and distracts all other children!»


J. K. Rowling

«She’s really good at languages, but she should work on her maths skills!»


Charlie Chaplin

«He’s very shy. Maybe, he should try joining one of the students’ clubs.»


Walt Disney

«He reads well and makes wonderful drawings, but he mustn’t draw in all the lessons!»

Make sentences about the school years of your parents or grandparents. Use the phrases from the list

like, hate, be good at, be bad at, behave well, behave badly, be late for school, win sports competitions, skip classes, have a lot of friends

Family histories

Listen and choose the correct answer


Put the words in order, match with the answers



We build questions like this:

Did you use to go to school? Yes, I did.
Where did you use to live? I used to live in Russia.

What did you use to like?

Complete the dialogue


Write questions to interview an older person

Home, chores Where did you ?

Did you ?


School What subjects ?


Did you ?

Likes and dislikes What music ?



Free time How ?




You now and then

Remember your primary school or kindergarten and answer the questions


Did you use to…

  • be late?
  • get a lot or a little homework?
  • have teachers you really liked?
  • have a teacher you hated?
  • wear a uniform?
  • be a bad or a good student?


  1. When I was at primary school, I used to/didn’t use to…
  2. When I was in kindergarten, I used to/didn’t use to…

Use the ideas to make dialogues with your teacher




— I used to like watching cartoons, but now I don’t like them. What films did you use to like?
— When I was small, I used to hate oatmeal! What food did you use to hate?


  • some activities that you used to like
  • food/drinks you used to like or hate
  • something you used to do more often than now
  • something you didn’t use to like doing
  • music you used to enjoy

What you can do


Now you can:

1. Use the construction «used to V» in English.
2. Interview people about their life in the past.


1. primary school 3. chore 5. distract
2. secondary school 4. behave 6. shy

Useful phrases

— I used to…
— I didn’t use to…
— Did you use to?..