Unit 2.2

Used to vs To Be Used to vs To Get Used to

Verb Phrases - 2 minutes

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Introduction

The structure used to is employed to talk about habits and customs that were or are be familiar to us.

Form

We find used to in three different structures:
Subject + Used to + Infinitive + …
Subject + To Be + Used to + Noun/Gerund + …
{see To be used to Affirmative, A2 level}
Subject + To Get + Used to + Noun/Gerund + …

Note: In structure Used to + Infinitive, used in the negative and interrogative form becomes use.

Example

  1. Used to
    • You used to deal with the clients, but now that’s my job.
    • Did they use to eat heavy for dinner?
  2. To be used to
    • We’ve been working as bank employees for 10 years so we are used to numbers.
    • I am not used to writing a cover letter. It’s my first time.
  3. To get used to
    • We came from China, so we are getting used to dollars.
    • I never got used to owing money to people.

Use

We use used to to talk about our past and present habits and routines, and also about things we are getting familiar to, at the moment:

  1. Used to + Infinitive to talk about our past habits that are no longer present in our life;
  2. To Be + Used to + Noun/Gerund to talk about things we are familiar with; {see To be used to Affirmative, A2 level}
  3. To Get + Used to + Noun/Gerund to talk about things we are becoming accustomed to.

Summary

We use used to to talk about habits and customs that were, are or will be familiar to us.

Used to has different structures which can convey different meanings:

  • When we use used to followed by infinitive, we talk about our past habits that are no longer present in our life;
  • When we use to be used to followed by a noun or gerund, we talk about things we are familiar with;
  • When we use to get used to followed by a noun or gerund, we talk about things we are becoming accustomed to.

For example:
“I used to work at a café.” = I don’t work there anymore.
“I am used to using chopsticks.” = I can use chopsticks now, I couldn’t in the past.
“I am getting used to working in Spain.” = I am getting accustomed to working in Spain.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

Exercise


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