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Intermediate

Used to and to be used to - Rules and exercises for intermediate level

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Thursday, 29 September 2016
I used to eat Chinese food all the time. I used to eat Chinese food all the time. This image by negativespace.co is licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

This lesson is an overview of the rules for the verbs 'used to' and 'be used to' with exercises. It's part of a series on nouns and adverbs and quantifiers. This is an English grammar lesson online for intermediate level students.

Used to and be used to: forms and uses

Used to: positive and negative

We use 'used to' + base form of the verb (infinitive)

Helene used to eat meat

We use 'used to' to say that something always happened or was true in the past:

Helene used to eat meat every day

We also use 'used to' to show that this no longer happens, or is no longer true:

Helene used to eat meat until she became a vegetarian

The negative form is 'didn't used to' and we use it to show that something didn't happen or wasn't true in the past:

Helene didn't used to be a vegetarian

Used to: question

The interrogative form is 'did you use to?'

Did you use to eat meat, Helene?

Be used to: positive and negative

We use 'be used to' + -'ing' form of a verb (the gerund).

I didn't like getting up early when I was younger, but I'm used to doing it now.

We use 'be used to' to show that we're accustomed to doing something - it seems natural and not unusual:

I'm used to getting up early

We also use 'getting used to' to show that we are still becoming accustomed to doing something - that it was unusual but now it is becoming more natural:

I'm still getting used to getting up early

The negative form is 'be + negative + used to + gerund' and means that we still find something difficult or unusual:

I'm not used to getting up early

We can also use 'can't + get + used to + gerund' which has the same meaning of something being difficult:

I can't get used to getting up early

Be used to: question

The interrogative form is 'Are you used to?' We can also use the same question form with 'getting used to':

Are you getting used to getting up early?

You can use 'be used to / get used to' in the past, present and future tenses:

I was used to getting up early / I got used to getting up early

I'm used to getting up early / I'm getting used to getting up early

I'll soon be used to getting up early / One day I'll get used to getting up early

Used to/Be used to - be careful!

'Used to' does not have a present or future tense - it is always used to talk about what happened in the past:

I used to eat Chinese food all the time (past)

I always eat Chinese food (present)

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Last modified on Sunday, 05 February 2017 22:56

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