Exercise 3

Complete the sentences using the verb in brackets with used to, be used to, get used to in the correct form.

We moved to London ten years ago and after ten years, I can say I 1 (live) in the UK. However, coming from Peru, it took me some time to 2 (be) in a country which is so different from my motherland. In Peru, we 3 (talk) to the people in the street: the people we met on the bus, in the shops, in the park, etc. Here, it was very difficult to speak to anybody, and not because of the language. Before we came, I was 4 (speak) English every day, because back in Peru I 5 (be) an English teacher. So the language was not the problem; it was just that the people here mind their own business; they don’t normally speak to strangers. But now I have already 6 (mind) my own business.

The other thing which was completely different was the weather. In Peru we 7 (be) outdoors all day, because it 8 (be) hot and sunny. When we came here we had to 9 (be) mostly indoors, because the weather is horrible. Now, after ten years here, I think we 10 (wear) thick clothes and we don’t mind the rainy weather as much as we did in the past, but I’ll always miss the weather in Peru.


 

 

Summary table – used to

 
used to, be used to, get used to

used to do

 

Repeated actions in the past

 
We can use used to + infinitive to talk about things that we did repeatedly in the past.

  • When I was a child, I used to go skiing every winter. 
  • From the age of 12 till I was 16, I used to dance at weekends. 

 

Situations or states that are no longer true

 
We can use used to + infinitive to talk about situations or states (stative verbs) which were true in the past, but they are no longer true.

  • As a child I used to be blond. 
  • I used to live with my mum when I was a child.

 

used to, didn’t use to, did you use to

 
The negative form of used to is didn’t use to, and we form questions with did you use to. There is no present form of used to. When we want to talk about present habits or present repeated actions, we use the present simple tense with usuallynormally, often, etc.

  • We usually eat out on Saturday. (NOT We use to eat out)

 

be used to something/doing something

 
If you are used to something or to doing something, you are accustomed to it. Maybe it’s something that is new, strange or difficult, but you have done it for some time and now you don’t find it new, strange or difficult any more. Be used to is a state, so it is not used with continuous verb forms. It’s normally used with simple tenses.

  • When I started working, it was hard to get up at 6 a.m., but now I‘m used to it. 
  • I’ve been living in England for a short time and I‘m still not used to driving on the left. 

 

get used to something/doing something

 
If  you get used to something or to doing something, you become accustomed to something. Getting used to something is the process of becoming used to something.

  • I’ve just started my new job and I‘m still getting used to getting up so early. 
  • It might be difficult at first, but you‘ll get used to driving on the left. 

 

used to do, be used to doing, get used to doing

 
The past verb used to is always followed by an infinitive. The word to is part of the infinitive.

  • I used to play basketball when I was in school. 

After be used to, or get used to, we use a noun or a -ing verb. The word to is a preposition, not part of an infinitive. That is why when a verb follows, it must take the -ing form.

  • I‘m not used to this cold and rainy weather. 
  • I’m sure you‘ll get used to working with John. (NOT get used to work)

 


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