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‘Use’, ‘used’ and ‘used to’

‘As a noun, ‘use’ is a purpose for which something is used. The plural is ‘uses.’
The microwave oven has a variety of uses in the kitchen.
I don’t wish to buy a boat because I have no use for one.
What you learned at the university can be put to good use in your new job.
The printing press is in use, don’t meddle with it.
The computer is out of use. (Not operating)

‘Use’ as a verb

The past tense of ‘use’ is ‘used.’ It is a regular verb.
This plate has been used, please bring a clean one.
The tailor used a pair of scissors to cut the cloth.
You can use your skills to do this job.
The old house has not been used for a number of years.
Mother has used nearly all the vegetables you brought home last week.
Use also means ‘to exploit’ or ‘to take advantage.’
Be careful. The company is just using you without paying you adequately.

‘Use your head’ is an informal idiom meaning “You should think more carefully before doing something,’

You must use your head before signing any agreement.
‘Be of use’/ no use’

A pair of shoes will be of no use to someone whose legs have been amputated.
Your advice will be of use when I am older.
There is no use arguing with him.

It’s no use trying to sell these items, nobody ever buys them.
What’s the use of worrying?
We use ‘used to’ to show that a particular thing always happened in the past.
I used to walk along the beach in the evening. (Now I don’t do so.)

Mary used to dance when she was young. (Now she doesn’t do so.)
‘Used to’ is followed by a verb in the infinitive without ‘to.’
Don’t say: His parents used to punishing him for not doing homework.
Say: His parents used to punish him for not doing homework.

‘Be used to’ means ‘be familiar with.’
Nora at first didn’t like to speak to tourists but now she is used to deal with them.
Some people like to be paid in used currency notes.

I’ll never buy a used car.
The following are synonyms for the word ‘useful.’
Your advice was really helpful.
I have some valuable information about the missing jewellery.
‘Useless’ means ‘of no use.’
An English teacher who does not know the language properly is useless.

 

 

 


Match words and meanings

Here’s a novel method to enrich your vocabulary. Match the words in Column ‘A’ with their meanings in Column ‘B’ and check your answers with the key.

[Column A]

G... 1. bouquet
...... 2. bourgeois
...... 3. bout
...... 4. boutique
...... 5. bovine
...... 6. bow
...... 7. bowdlerize
...... 8. bower
...... 9. bowler
.... 10. bow-wow

.... 11. bracelet
.... 12. brackish
.... 13. brag
.... 14. brainchild
.... 15. brainless

.... 16. brainwave
.... 17. brainy
.... 18. bran
.... 19. brand
.... 20. brash

.... 21. brat
.... 22. bravado
.... 23. brawl
.... 24. brawn
.... 25.bray.

[Column B]

A. belonging to the middle class
B. a small shop
C. connected with cows
D. to remove offensive words from a book
E. a weapon for shooting arrows
F. a short period of illness
g. a group of flowers fastened together
H. to make a loud noise like
a donkey
I. physical strength and big muscles
J. a noisy, rough, uncontrolled fight

K. a show of bravery
L. a child who behaves badly
M. showing too much confidence and too little respect
N. a type of product made by a particular company
O. the outer covering of grain

P. clever
Q. a sudden clever idea
R. stupid
S. a clever and original idea
T. to speak proudly of yourself
U. salty, dirty and unpleasant

V. a piece of jewellery worn around the wrist
W. a child’s word for a dog
X. somebody who bowls
Y.a pleasant place under the branches of a tree

************

Key:

2.A
3. F
4. B
5. C
6. E
7. D
8. Y
9. X
10. W
11. V
12. U
13. T
14. S
15. R

16. Q
17. P
18. O
19. N
20. M
21. L
22. K
23. J.
24. I
25.H

************


Starters:

Prepositions in ‘WH-questions’

In WH-questions, the preposition normally comes in the same place as in a statement.
What are you looking for?
What are we waiting for?
What are you worrying about?
What is he writing about?
What is she talking about?
In formal English, the preposition comes before the question word.

In which house were they living?
In which year did you start working?
In which queue are you waiting?
In what month are you going to France?
In what colour does this house look nice?

Here are some more examples of prepositions in WH-questions:
Who are we waiting for?
What are laughing at?
Where is he from?
Where do they come from?
What kind of gems are you interested in?
Who did you come with?
We use ‘what ... for’ to ask questions.
What did you buy a mobile for?
What are these logs for?

What are they looking for?
What is he aiming at?
What are they pointing at?
We use ‘what ... like’ in WH-questions to ask whether something is good or bad.
What was the picnic like?
What's the office like where you work?
What does your father look like?

We use ‘how’ in WH-questions to ask about someone's well-being.
How are you?
How are you getting on?
How's your grandmother?

[Activity]

Fill in the blanks with WH-question words and check your answers with the key.

1. ......... time is it?
2. ..........doctor did you see?
3. ..........are you going?
4. ..........are we going?
5. ..........did you hear about the concert?
6. ...........did this?

7. ...........do you want to talk to?
8. ........... is this dog?
9. ........... that talking to your sister?
10. .......... did you choose to live in Australia?

************

Key:

1. What
2. Which
3. When
4. Where
5. How
6. Who
7. Who
8. Whose
9. Who's
10. Why

************


Form adverbs from nouns

Words often come in families. You can expand your vocabulary by becoming familiar with these word families. Today we give you 25 nouns in Column ‘A.’ Write the relevant adverbs in Column ‘B’ and check your answers with the key.

[Column A] [Column B]

1. system ............
2. taste ............
3. tear ............
4. technicality ............
5. technology ............

6. thanks ............
7. theory .............
8. thickness .............
9. thinness .............
10. thirst ............

11. thought .............
12. threat .............
13. tightness ..............
14. tiredness ..............
15. touch .............
16. tradition .............
17. trust .............
18. truth .............
19. type ..............
20. urgency ..............
21. use ..............
22. variety ..............
23. violence ..............
24. warmth ..............
25. waste .............

************

Key:

1. systematically
2. tastefully
3. tearfully
4. technically
5. technologically
6. thankfully
7. theoretically
8. thickly
9. thinly
10. thirstily
11. thoughtfully
12. threateningly

13. tightly
14. tiresomely
15. touchingly
16. traditionally
17. trustfully
18. truthfully
19. typically
20. urgently
21. usefully
22. variously
23. violently
24. warmly
25. wastefully

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