To be used to
English grammar (See all our English grammar tips)
To be used toThe expression to be used to expresses habit. It is followed by a subject or a verb in the gerund:
|To be used to something||to be accustomed to something|
|To be used to doing something||to be accustomed to doing something|
I am used to this kind of thing. I am accustomed to this kind of thing.
I am used to doing such things. I am accustomed to doing such things.
They were used to standing for hours. They were accustomed to standing for hours.
• Be careful not to confuse it with I used to (do something), which expresses a completed action in the past:
I used to play tennis when I was a child. I played tennis when I was a child (I no longer play tennis).
• Also be careful not to confuse it with the ordinary verb to use, conjugated in the past simple or past participle.
These drugs are used to treat a serious disease. These drugs are utilized to treat a serious disease.
• To be used to and to be accustomed to have a similar meaning, although to be accustomed to is sometimes followed by an infinitive:
Jungle animals are not accustomed to live (or to living) with human beings. Jungle animals are not in the habit of living with human beings.
• The expression to get used to, followed by a subject or a verb in the gerund (ing), expresses the act of getting accustomed to something:
I can't get used to this work environment. I am finding it difficult to work in this new work environment.
Get used to it! Accept this new situation!
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