Used To – Get Used To – Be Used To

As we navigate the intricacies of the English language, we often come across phrases that may sound similar but have distinct usages. “Used to,” “get used to,” and “be used to” are such expressions that can cause a bit of confusion. It’s essential for us to demystify these terms so that we can use them correctly in our daily conversations and writing.

Used To – Get Used To – Be Used To: What is the Difference? 

Used To - Get Used To - Be Used ToPin

Key Takeaways

“Used to”: A past habit or state (now changed).

  • Example: We used to go camping every summer.

“Be used to”: Familiarity with a situation.

  • Example: We are used to getting up early for work.

“Get used to”: The process of becoming familiar with something.

  • Example: We are getting used to the new software at work.

 Used to: Definitions and Examples 

Form

Positive Sentence:

Subject + used to + V (infinitive).

Negative Sentence:

Subject + didn’t use to + V (infinitive).

(We can also use never used to + infinitive. In more formal or written English, used not to + infinitive is sometimes used.)

Question form:

Did + subject + use to + V (infinitive)?

How to Use

We use the structure used to do something when we talk about something we did regularly in the past, but do not do it now. Used to is different to the past simple because it emphasizes that the action was repeated many times.

Example:

He used to go to our school.

We also use used to + the infinitive for past situations. It emphasizes that the situations are no longer true.

She used to be overweight but became she a model last year.

Be/Get Used to: Definitions and Examples 

Form

Positive Sentence:

Subject + be/get used to + noun/pronoun/gerund.

Negative Sentence:

Subject + not be/not get used to + noun/pronoun/gerund.

Question Form:

Be + subject + used to + noun/pronoun/gerund?

And

Auxiliary verb + subject + get used to + noun/pronoun/gerund?

How to Use

Be used to is used to express that a situation is not new or strange, or is no longer new or strange. You have experienced it many times.

Examples:

  • He is used to swimming every day.
  • I‘m not used to getting up early.

Get used to is used to express that an action/situation becomes less strange or new, or becomes more comfortable.

Examples:

  • Staff will have to get used to a new way of working.
  • I could not get used to driving on the wrong side of the street!

Note:

Used to is about the past so there is no present or future form.

– In the negative didn’t use to and the question did you use to, notice that there is no d on use.

Be used to can be modified with adverbs.

Example:

  • I’m very used to his strange behavior now.

Used To – Get Used To – Be Used To: Examples 

 “Used To” Examples

  • used to go jogging every morning before work.
  • She used to live in Paris before she moved to New York.
  • They used to own a small shop down the street.
  • We used to watch that television show all the time as kids.
  • He used to play the guitar, but he hasn’t practiced in years.

“Get Used To” Examples

  • It takes time to get used to a new work environment.
  • After moving to the city, I had to get used to the noise and the crowds.
  • You’ll get used to the schedule after a few weeks.
  • She is trying to get used to waking up early for her new job.
  • They are getting used to eating healthier foods as part of their diet.

 “Be Used To” Examples

  • am used to the cold weather because I grew up in the mountains.
  • She is used to handling large projects under tight deadlines.
  • They are used to a lot of tourists visiting their town every summer.
  • We are used to walking long distances, so the hike won’t be a problem.
  • He is used to speaking in public, so giving presentations doesn’t make him nervous.

Interactive Exercises 

Fill in the blanks

  1. I __________ live in New York, but now I live in Los Angeles.
  2. It took me a while to __________ waking up early for my new job.
  3. She __________ the noise in the city after living there for a year.
  4. He __________ play soccer in high school; he was quite good at it.
  5. You will __________ the new software with a bit more practice.
  6. They __________ have a dog, so they know how to take care of pets.
  7. I __________ the cold winters when I lived in Canada.
  8. We __________ drive on the left side of the road when we lived in England.
  9. After a few months, you’ll __________ the busy pace of life here.
  10. She __________ eating spicy food, so this dish might be too much for her.

Answer and Explanation 

  1. Answer: used to
    • Explanation: “Used to” indicates a past habit or state that is no longer true.
  2. Answer: get used to
    • Explanation: “Get used to” refers to the process of becoming accustomed to something new.
  3. Answer: is used to
    • Explanation: “Be used to” means to be accustomed to something or find it normal.
  4. Answer: used to
    • Explanation: “Used to” is used to talk about past habits or activities that are not done in the present.
  5. Answer: get used to
    • Explanation: “Get used to” implies that with practice, one will become accustomed to the new software.
  6. Answer: used to
    • Explanation: “Used to” indicates a past state or habit that is no longer current.
  7. Answer: was used to
    • Explanation: “Be used to” means to be accustomed to something; in the past tense, it’s “was used to.”
  8. Answer: used to
    • Explanation: “Used to” describes a past habit that is no longer practiced.
  9. Answer: get used to
    • Explanation: “Get used to” suggests that over time, one will become accustomed to the busy pace of life.
  10. Answer: isn’t used to
    • Explanation: “Be used to” means to be accustomed to something; with the negative “isn’t,” it indicates she is not accustomed to eating spicy food.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between “used to,” “get used to,” and “be used to”?

  • Used to: We use this to describe a past habit or state that is no longer true.
  • Get used to: This indicates the process of becoming accustomed to something.
  • Be used to: We employ this when talking about something we are already accustomed to.

How do I utilize “used to” in a sentence?

  • We use “used to” followed by a base verb: used to play the guitar.

Can “get used to” and “be used to” take the same form after them?

  • Yes, both take a noun or gerund (-ing form):
    • I’m getting used to the new work schedule.
    • I am used to waking up early.

Do “used to” and “be/get used to” convey different times?

  • Absolutely:
    • “Used to” is strictly for past habits.
    • “Be/get used to” can be used for past, present, or future contexts, depending on the tense of the verb “be” or “get.”

Is it correct to say, “I didn’t used to like coffee”?

  • No, the correct form is didn’t use to like coffee because after “did” (past tense), the verb returns to its base form.

Remember, these structures are useful in conversation and writing for talking about our experiences and changes in habits over time. If you’re ever confused, just replace the phrases with a synonym like “in the past” for “used to,” or “accustomed to” for “be/get used to,” and see if the sentence still makes sense to you!

 

 

 

Last Updated on December 26, 2023

6 thoughts on “Used To – Get Used To – Be Used To”

  1. She used to be overweight but became she a model last year. is it right? or She used to be overweight but
    she became a model last year.

    Reply

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