How does one translate "used to"?

But this definition:


  1. describing an action or state of affairs that was done repeatedly or existed for a period in the past.


  • "You used to call me on my cellphone"
  • "I used to go there everyday"

Would kutime be acceptable here?

as in mi kutime iris tien ĉiutage for "I used to go there everyday"

3 Answers 3


You can use kutim- in any form, or rutino for a routine, or just add ofte or de tempo al tempo.

Vi kutimis min telefoni. Kutime vi telefonis. Estis via kutimo telefoni.

Vi havis rutinon poŝtelefoni min.

Ofte vi vokis min tra mia poŝtelefono. Ofte vi vokis min telefone.

Be aware that (al)voki X might be misunderstood as "ask X to come".

For "you would..." you can also use -ad-.

De tempo al tempo vi vokadis min telefone.

Your example, Mi kutime iris tien ĉiutage, is correct, although I think ĉiutage would cover the fact that it was a kutimo.


Actually, kutimi is a verb. PIV defines it as follows:

Havi fortan emon al ia ago pro ofta ripetado.

and gives one example:

  • Li kutimas fumi pipon post tagmanĝo.

Your sentences would be:

  • Vi kutimis alvoki min ...
  • Mi kutimis iri tien ĉiutage.
  • Translation of the PIV quote would be appreciated. And also, how do you say "call me on my cellphone" i Esperanto? Maybe another question for that is necessary... Oct 25, 2016 at 14:35
  • Maybe "call me on my cellphone" would be "alvoki mian poŝtelefonon". Sorry, I just remembered that "Hotline Bling" had an example of what I was trying to ask about.
    – Olivia
    Oct 25, 2016 at 14:50
  • Ah, yes maybe that works. Oct 25, 2016 at 14:59
  • To call by a telephone is telefoni, not some form of voki (to call by name or to demand an action). Jun 2, 2020 at 14:32
  • @Juha Metsäkallas Laux kion mi lernis, ”telefoni” signifas ”paroli kun iu per telefono” kaj ”alvoki” signifas ”iniciati al telefonado kun iu”. Du personoj telefonas, sed nur unu alvokis kaj la alia estis alvokita. Gravas la distingo, mi pensas, por la kazoj kiam la alvoko ne ricevas respondon. Jul 29, 2020 at 8:41

Kutime could work in the examples you provided. Wells also suggests iam. The first suggestion that sprang to my mind was antaŭe, which is also what Benson (CEED) suggests.

  • antaŭe was my first thought too, but it doesn't have the connotation of "repeatedly/regularly" that the asker is after. Oct 26, 2016 at 0:34
  • Neither does iam. As I often say in my answers, ultimately you need to express ideas, not translate words. If antaŭe doesn't quite catch your meaning, it can be clarified in other ways - such as with -adis or certain adverbs. Oct 26, 2016 at 1:26

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