To be used to
English grammar (See all our English grammar tips)
Want to improve your English? Test our online English lessons for free!
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!
Still having difficulties with 'To be used to'? Want to improve your English? Test our online English lessons and receive a free level assessment!
Do you have smart way of remembering this rule? A tip to avoid making a mistake on 'To be used to'? Share it with us!