♔ BE USED TO / USED TO

key_small1. TO BE USED TO
 
 A / STRUCTURE
 
 
To "be used to" something is an expression. It is not a tense.
The structure is:
 
Subject + TO BE + "USED TO" + Object
 
 
Simon and Maggie are used to wild animals because they were born in Africa.
 
 Are you used to hot weather?
 
We aren’t used to spicy dishes.
 
 
 
If the object is a verb, we use the "-ing" form:
  
 
Simon and Maggie are used to living in Africa.
 
Are you used to driving on the left?
 
We aren’t used to cooking for so many people.
 
Why do we use "-ing" for a verb after "Be Used To"?
 
Because we always use " -ing" for a verb after a preposition and the "to" is a preposition! (Gerund). You can also have a look at the lesson on the Gerund...
 
 
B / USE
 
The "Be Used To" expression is for talking about something that is familiar to or habitual for us, for example:
 
I am used to driving on the right.
 
It means that it is not a problem for me to drive on the right of the road. I am French. In France, people drive on the right. Now I am living in the UK where people drive on the left. Of course, I drive on the left in the UK, but when I go to France it is easier for me to drive on the right because "I am used to it".
 
Of course we can use "Be used to something" in other tenses:
 
We can conjugate the verb "TO BE" in the tense that we need. Look at these examples:
 
When she lived in New Delhi, she was used to hot weather.
 
I have been used to snakes for a long time.   
 
key_small2. USED TO
 
We use "Used To" to talk about the past. It is not a tense but it is like a tense.
Do not confuse it with "To Be Used To" which is completely different. (See above)
 
A / STRUCTURE
 
We use this construction only in the past. We do not use it in the present.
 
The structure is: 
 
Subject + USED + Infinitive with to
 
I used to go to Scotland twice a year.
 
Did you use to go to Scotland twice a year?
 
I didn’t use to go to Scotland twice a year.
 
 
"Use" or "Used"?
 
when "did" is spoken in the sentence, we say "use to" (without the "d")
when "did" is not spoken in the sentence, we say "used to" (with the "d")
 
 
B / USE
 
We use this expression to talk about:
 
  • an activity that we did regularly in the past (like a habit) that we don't do anymore.
  • a situation that was true in the past and that is no longer true.
 
 I used to smoke when I was at University. 
 
It used to be much colder in winter.
 
Did you use to speak English when you lived in Oslo? 
 
 

Aller à la barre d’outils