English Grammar with FREE pdf – Used to/Get used to/Be used to

‘used to + infinitive’ and ‘be/get used to’

‘used to + infinitive’ and ‘be/get used to’

Students have difficulties in making distinction between used to + infinitive and be/get used to + ‘ing’ form because they look similar. As a matter of fact, they are totally different.

‘used to + infinitive’

Used to is for things that happened in the past and have no connectivity to present:

    • Peter used to smoke three cigarettes a day.
    • My boyfriend used to drink a lot of coffee during sleepless nights.
  • Sarah and her mother used to go out for a walk every day.

Negative form is  : didn’t ( did not) use to: I didn’t use to smoke before.

Question form is  : Did she (subject)  use to..? Did she use to drink a lot of coffee?

As you may guess you can not use ‘used to’ in the present. To talk about present habits we use the present simple and an adverb of frequency (usually, always, often, never, etc.)

e.g. I often eat at the Japanese restaurant in the city center.

‘be/get used to’

If you are used to something, you are accustomed to it – you show how familiar something is for you. If you get used to something or you are getting used to something you are becoming accustomed to it – it was strange, now it’s not so strange.

    • I found Slovak food very strange at first but I’m used to it now.
  • I’m getting used to Japanese food.

Both ‘be used to’ and ‘get used to’ are followed by a noun (or pronoun) or the gerund – the ‘ing’ form of a verb.

    • I can’t get used to getting up so early. I’m tired all the time.
  • He’s not used to the weather here yet. He’s finding it very cold.

Be/get used to’ can be used with past, present and future tenses.

    • You might find it strange at first but you’ll soon get used to it.
  • He wasn’t used to the heat and he caught sunstroke.

Source: Face2Face  – upper – intermediate

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