English Grammar

How to contrast the past and the present

Let’s see some expressions we often use to contrast the past and the future : Used to, Any longer, Any more and Still.

Used to

We use it when we want to talk about our habits and states in the past. We don’t use it in the present (we can replace it by usually) and also for actions that happened only once.

examples :

  • He used to drive very fast.
  • We used to stay out late.
  • I used to have long hair.
  • I usually go to my father on Fridays.

Any longer / Any more

We use these sort of phrases only with an action or a state (True in the past ; not true now).

examples :

  • I don’t eat muffins any more.
  • He doesn’t dance any longer.
  • I don’t love you any more.
  • Amber used to be a writer. But now,  she doesn’t write any longer.

Still

We use it when we want to emphasise that an action or a state has not stopped.

examples :

  • I still want that toy very much.
  • I hated Spanish classes and I still don’t like them.
  • I still remember how stupid I was.
  • They still don’t want to move.

3 thoughts on “How to contrast the past and the present

  1. Hello,
    I know we can use the present perfect in repeated activities.
    and I have read this example, I have been in supermarket three times a week.
    Is that example correct, and How can I use the present perfect in repeated activities
    thank you.

    • Normally, we use the present perfect continuous (progressive) when an activity is repetitive.
      with non-progressive verbs (your case) we add some adverbs that express repetition as : repeatedly, several times (three times a week), again and again, continuously …..

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