Used to, be used and get used to

دوره: گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه / درس 53

گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه

60 درس

Used to, be used and get used to

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In this edition of 6 Minute Grammar, Callum and Catherine explain and demonstrate the different way these verbs, which look very similar, are used.

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Catherine Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Catherine.

Callum And me, Callum. Hello.

Catherine In this programme we’re looking at the phrase used to for talking about the past.

Callum And we’re also looking at the phrases be used to and get used to .

Catherine Now used to and be used to sound very similar, but the meaning and forms are different. So we ‘ll explain the differences and give you lots of examples.

Callum And we’ll have a quiz to see how much you’ve learnt, so let’s get started. Now used to is always followed by the infinitive of the verb. It tells us that an action happened regularly in the past but it doesn ‘t happen now. Here’s Rob with an example.

Rob I used to eat meat, but now I’m a vegetarian.

And used to can also describe a past situation which is no longer true. Rob.

Rob I used to be a bit overweight, but I’m much slimmer now.

Callum That’s straightforward. So what about be used to or get used to? Well, if you are used to something, it means that it isn’t unusual or difficult for you because you have experienced it before. Rob.

Rob When I first became a vegetarian, I missed eating meat, but now I ‘ m used to it.

Catherine So Rob’s familiar and comfortable with not eating meat now. He could also say:

Rob I got used to it after a few weeks.

Callum Yes, got is like became . He became familiar with it

Catherine Now in those examples, be used to and get used to are followed by the pronoun it. But we can also use the -ing form of a verb in the same position. Listen.

Rob I ‘ m not used to eating food without salt. I find it really tasteless.

Callum Rob’s not familiar with food without salt. I know how he feels - but doctors are advising us all to get used to eating less salt.

Catherine I can’t get used to eating no salt on my chips.

Callum No, that’s just wrong. It’s wrong. So there’s used to with the infinitive and be or get used to with the -ing verb. Another difference is that used to is only for the past. There is no present or future form of used to .

Catherine But we can use be or get used to in the present, past or future. Rob.

Rob In the past, British people weren ‘t used to eating pasta and pizza.

Callum That’s true. Pasta and pizza were new to Britain. But we all love them now don’t we?

Catherine Yes, I think we got used to them pretty quickly! Even if we can’t have salt on them.

You’re listening to BBC Learning English.

Catherine And we’re looking at the phrases used to and be or get used to . And there ‘s another difference between them.

Callum Yes, with used to, we form questions, short answers and negatives with did and didn ‘t. And in questions and negatives,we lose the d on the end of used. You can’t hear this because we don’t pronounce the d on used anyway. But it ‘s important in writing. Here’s an example. Catherine, d id you use to have rice and curry when you were a child!

Catherine No, I didn ‘t . In fact we didn ‘t use to have foreign food at all in our house.

Callum Neither did… I think the most foreign food we had was a Cornish Pasty.

Catherine Very British!

Callum But with be used to and get used to, we form questions, short answers and negatives with the verb be. And we keep the d on the end of used. Catherine, are you used to buying international food now?

Catherine Yes, I am, most definitely. There’s all sorts of foreign food here in London and I’ve tried most of it.

Callum Just a couple more points. There are two alternative negative forms for used to . Instead of I didn ‘t use to , we sometimes say I never used to or I used not to. Listen

Rob I never used to eat many vegetables. I used not to eat many vegetables.

Callum Just remember that used not to sounds very formal, and is mainly used in writing nowadays. Now Catherine, are there any types of foreign food that you aren ‘t used to?

Catherine Well, I tried Japanese food a few times, but I can ‘t get used to it.

Callum And there is the modal auxiliary can ‘t with get used to . It ‘s a very useful piece of language. We can use it in the past as well. Rob?

I couldn’t get used to living in the countryside, so I moved back to the city.

Catherine And now it’s quiz time! Is this sentence correct or wrong? I’ve been in this job for three months so I used to it now. I’ve been in this job for three months so I used to it now.

Callum That’s not correct. It’s I ‘m used to it , with the verb be . Number two. D id you use to living in London when you were a child?

Catherine That’s wrong. The correct sentence is: Did you use to live in London? And number three. I don’t really like Japanese food but I hope I’ll be used to it.

Callum That’s not correct. It should be I ‘ll get used to it .

Catherine It should! Well done at home if you got those right.

Callum There’s more about this on our website at Join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar.


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