Use of ‘to be/get used to …’

(Particularities of the phrase ‘to be/get used to’ in English grammar)

Table of contents – usage of ‘to be/get used to …’

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Use of ‘to be/get used to …’
  2. Further explanations and exercises

When and how is ‘to be/get used to …’ employed? (Explanation)

In English, using to be used to or to get used to can express that something is not new or unfamiliar. There is one pitfall that an English learner may encounter in terms of grammar: if a verb follows this expression, note that it must be in the ing-form (gerund) instead of the infinitive, i.e., the base form of the verb being employed. Compare the specific ways of utilization in detail:

  • Use of ‘to be/get used to’ with pronouns and nouns:
    • Pronoun: “The weather is very hot, but I am used to it.”
      • In this sentence, the speaker expresses that the heat is nothing new to him.
    • Noun: “That’s good, but I still have to get used to the climate.”
      • Here, the person shows that he is not familiar with the climate.
  • Usage of ‘to be/get used to’ with verbs. Remember to use the ing-form or gerund in this case:
    • “Tim and Peter work very hard. They are used to working very hard.”
    • “When I moved to England, I got used to drinking tea.”
  • Be careful: The two phrases ‘to be/get used to’ and ‘used to do’ are similar but have different meanings. To find out the particularities, see the explanation of ‘used to’. Compare:
be used to …ing used to
  • “I am used to sleeping on the couch.”
  • This utterance says that sleeping on the couch is not problematic for the speaker.
  • “I used to sleep on the couch.”
  • This statement expresses the speaker’s habit in former times, which does not exist anymore now.

Further explanations relating to the ‘Particularities of ‘be/get used to’

The following explanations are related to the topic ‘Usage of the expressions ‘to get/be used to’ in English’ and could also be interesting: