It is one of the test problem in some test in Taiwan.

  1. This program is used to scan resume and search for key words that ____

a. match

b. matching

c. matched

d. will match

I am wondering if this sentence is wrong, since used to + verb refers to some habits that had in the past, or something that was the case.

And is used to + Ving refers to having some experience.

But the question used " is used to V " ???

  • note that this instance of "used to" is pronounced /yuzdtu/ whereas the usage of "used to" for past tense is pronounced /yustu/
    – hunter
    Apr 26, 2014 at 4:18

3 Answers 3


First off, there are grammar errors in the sentence. It should be:

This program is used to scan resumes and search for keywords that ____

There needs to be an "s" at the end of resume, and keyword is one word.

The correct answer is A. match

You are 100% correct about "used to"+ V and "used to" + Ving. However this sentence is different. It is some kind of passive voice construction. Instead of saying "(someone) uses this program to (do something)", they said "this program is used (by someone) to (do something)".

The phrase "that ____" is something different. It is unrelated to the phrase "used to". It is modifying the word "keywords". So that is why you use the present tense there.

keywords that match

a keyword that matches

You conjugate the verb according to whether the object it is modifying is singular (one keyword) or plural (many keywords).


Don't confuse the verb Use: to do something with (an object, machine, person, method, etc.) in order to accomplish a task, do an activity, etc. with the stucture used to, which expresses a frequent or continuous action in the past. Examples: "Knives are used to cut things."( to do something. The sentence is in the passive voice). "We used to play basketball when we were young." (a past habit) As for the sentence, A is the correct choice.."This program is used to scan resumes and search for key words that match." The structure **be+ used to +gerund/or noun/or pronoun**means = be accustomed to, to be in the habit of. Example:I'm not used to living in the country." "They are used to the cold." "I don't mind walking because I'm used to it."

  • The way you explain it, this sounds like the program is in the habit of scanning resumes, while the sentence actually means the program can be used.
    – Mr Lister
    Apr 26, 2014 at 13:35

Consider also the following:

Be used to:

Be used to + noun phrase or verb-ing (in this pattern used is an adjective and to is a preposition).

-I am used to getting up early in the morning. I don't mind it.

-He didn't complain about the noise nextdoor - he was used to it.

-If you are used to something, you have often done or experienced it, so it's not strange, new or difficult for you.

The opposite of be used to is be not used to. I am not used to the new system yet.

Get used to

Get used to + noun phrase or verb-ing (in this pattern used is an adjective and to is a preposition).

-I got used to getting up early in the morning.

-After a while he didn't mind the noise in the office - he got used to it.

If you get used to something, you become accustomed to it. It is the process of becoming used to something.

Used to:

Used to + verb refers to a habit or state in the past. It is used only in the past simple. Past habits

-If you used to do something, you did it for a period of time in the past, but you don't do it any more.

-We used to live there when I was a child.

-I used to walk to work every day when I was younger.


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