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How to: used to, be used to, get used to - examples and exercises

If you have problems with the verb structures used to, be used to, get used to, I hope this video will be helpful. I have recorded a 14-minute grammar training for you to understand the difference between these structures and practise using it in your own speaking.

How to use used to / be used to / get used to

It is very important to remember that all the structures described in the video are used only for the repeated actions, but not one-time actions.

For one-time actions in the Past, use Past Simple construction. (e.g. I entered the university in 1997. - I entered it only once)

Here are some collocations with the word HABIT

What the structures with USED mean:

used to - to show the habit we had in the past and don't have now

get used to - to show the process of developing a new habit

be used to - describing the state when we have some present habit - it means we do something on a regular basis and enjoy it.

In the video, you will also find an explanation on using 'would' and 'will' as alternatives to USED TO.

Patterns used with USED TO structures

Be careful about the verb form you use after 'used to' constructions.

USED TO + V1 (e.g. I used to smoke a lot.)

BUT

BE USED TO + Ving, and (e.g. I am used to eating vegetarian food.)

GET USED TO + Ving (e.g. I am getting used to riding a bicycle to work.)

Practice Exercises

I will quote the exercise I gave you at the end of the video one more time here if you need a bit longer time to think about it. Try to find which sentences are correct or not. The answers are in the video or have a look at the very end of the post.

Exercise 1: Are these sentences correct or not?

  • I used to speak French every day.
  • I am not used to eat so much for breakfast.
  • He used to smoking.
  • He is got used to flying after his first year as a journalist.
  • She would like skiing as a child.
  • We are getting used to sleeping with the windows open.
  • She will going to the beach every day.

Exercise 2. Use the correct form of 'used to', 'be used to' or 'get used to'.

  • It was very hard to ___ eating so much rice when I moved to China.
  • She ___ be quite slim, but she has put on so much weight in the last months.
  • I am afraid I will never ___ driving on the left!
  • I am slowly ____ reading from the screen. I ___ only read paper books in the past.
  • Hasn't he still ____ our southern lifestyle? It's so easy!
  • I don't want to drink white coffee! I ____ drinking my coffee black!

Exercise 3. Write one or two sentences describing the situations below using 'used t0', 'would', 'be used to', 'will' or 'get used to'.

Example

Situation: I live in a new country where people speak a language different from my mother tongue. How do I feel? Answer: I used to live in a different country. I am getting used to speaking a new language.

  • I liked to drive a car before, but I don't drive much now. I prefer the bicycle.
  • I ate a lot of meat in the past. Now I only eat vegetables.
  • We have dinner in the same restaurant every weekend. We like this restaurant very much.
  • I was a top model before, but now I live in a small house in a village. I am retired, and I don't work anymore.

Answers

Exercise 1

1) I used to speak French every day. correct
2) I am not used to eating so much for breakfast.
3) He is used to smoking. / He used to smoke.
4) He is got used to flying after his first year as a journalist.
5) She would used to like skiing as a child.
6) We are getting used to sleeping with the windows open. correct
7) She will going to the beach every day.

Exercise 2

  • It was very hard to get used to eating so much rice when I moved to China.
  • She used to be quite slim, but she has put on so much weight in the last months.
  • I am afraid I will never get used to driving on the left!
  • I am slowly getting used to reading from the screen. I used to only read paper books in the past.
  • Hasn't he still got/gotten used to our southern lifestyle? It's so easy!
  • I don't want to drink white coffee! I am used to drinking my coffee black!

Exercise 3 Example answers

  • I used to drive a lot. Now I am used to riding a bicycle.  
  • I didn't use to be a vegetarian. I used to eat meat. I got used to eating vegetables instead of meat. 
  • We will go to the same restaurant every weekend. We are used to visiting the same restaurant every weekend.
  • I used to be a top model. I used to have a lot of media attention. I have got used to a quieter life now. 

Have you changed your habits in the course of your life? How is your life different from before? Write in the comments using the examples with USED TO!

Please share this post on social media if you find it useful. 

More grammar lessons:

Learn English Irregular Verbs the Clever Way

How to Use Prepositions of Time

How to Easily Ask Questions with 'Can I'

How to use So do I / Neither do I

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