Learning English explanation corner …. Used to, be used to, get used to

Greetings, today we are going to look at the difference and why and when we use, used to, be used to and get used to.😊 These can be quite confusing and when you are learning English, 🇬🇧 get you into a muddle, so here is a step by step explanation to clear up any questions.😀

Used to

Firstly we are going to look at used to.  When you are learning English at NikaTeacher, we cover this grammatical topic early, whether you are A2 or B1. Used to plus infinitive talks about things that happened repeatedly or were true for a long period of time in the past, however, they are not usually true now.  For example, when I was a child, I used to play outside with my friends, simple yeah?😀 Or, at school, I used to wear a uniform.  Fabulous,👏 OK so when we are using the negative i.e. didn’t, be careful, remember that the verb DO is in past so the sentence is structured as follows, I didn’t use to wear a uniform, I didn’t use to walk to school. The same applies for questions; Did you use to have a lot of homework? Did she use to have a pet?🐈  Super simple yeah!

Hold on!  I hear you say, what’s the difference between, I used to ride my bike every day and I would ride my bike every day?  Good question.😋 We can use both for repeated actions in the past, BUT we don’t use would for NON ACTION VERBS (or state verbs) eg, be, have, know.  He used to have a beard, NOT He would have a beard, no no no.✋

Be used to

Next up, be used to.  Be used to plus gerund (or noun/pronoun) to talk about a new situation which is familiar now or less strange.  I’m from England, I used to drive 🚗 on the left (in the past) but now I’m used to driving on the right. It’s no longer strange for me. (And, can you see the gerund there? Fantastic!) 👍 Where do you live Louise? In Santa Brigida. But it’s cold in Santa Brigida. Yes but I’m English so I’m used to cold weather.❄ So what happens in negative?  I hear you, well that’s easy, I’m not used to waking up in the dark (I hate it btw, by the way).  Let’s say for example you won the lottery, yay you!😊  So you used to be poor, you didn’t use to have much money, now you are used to splashing out on things, lucky you!🍀

Get used to

Finally, the fun one, get used to.  Get used to plus gerund (or noun/ pronoun) means that in the beginning a situation was strange or unusual 😮 but is not anymore or will soon stop being strange or unusual because of a passage in time.  Here’s an example, I used to live in Africa, the sun would rise at 6am and set at 6pm, every day.  Now I’m getting used to the sun rising and setting at different times.🌞 Or, when I go to England for my annual visit, I have to get used to driving on the left again…when I return to Gran Canaria, I have to get used to driving on the right….🤩 Get used to can be used in past, present or future.  I got used to getting up early,🕠 I’m getting used to getting up early, I will get used to getting up early. 😎

Be used to and Get used to are covered from B1 to B2 in English classes, so don’t panic if you don’t understand everything at once, at NikaTeacher, you will learn this in depth plus it takes time and slowly slowly, you will get used to it!😊

Now, here is a challenge for you guys,👉 some examples that we want you to use with used to, be used to and get used to.

👍 Challenge 1

You have just got married.

I used to……………….I’m used to……………….I’m getting used to……………..

👍 Challenge 2

You have moved from a big city to the country

I used to……………….I’m used to……………….I’m getting used to……………..

👍 Challenge 3

You have learned to speak English very well – of course you have…..

I used to……………….I’m used to……………….I’m getting used to……………..

Send us your answers to the above,💪 we would love to know what your ideas are!🤩🤗


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2 comentarios sobre “Learning English explanation corner …. Used to, be used to, get used to

  1. I’ve enjoyed a lot reading it. Thank you for your super tips Louise and Nika 🙂

    Here are my answers:
    1: I used to be single but I’m used to be in a relationship. Now, I’m getting used to having a ring in my finger.
    2: I used to live in a big city so I’m used to noisy places. Now that I have moved to the countryside I’m (not) getting used to the silence of the nature.
    3: Some years ago I used to struggle when I had to speak english. After some months learning with NikaTeacher I’m used to use english in a daily basis. Since last week I have a new scottish collegue and I’m getting used to his accent.

  2. 1. I used to be single, but I´m used to living with other people. Now, I´m getting used to sharing my closet.
    2. I used to live in Las Palmas, but I´m used to going to Tejeda in summers. I will get used to the nature early.
    3. I not used to speak English. I’m used to shutting up out of shame. I have to get used to speaking English.