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Are you used to speaking English? English for Intermediate students. Lesson 1

  • December 26, 2015
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Used to something/to do something vs get (be) used to something/to doing something

In English, we have two kinds of phrasal constructions with “used.”

Let’s study the first one – “used to do.”

We need it to show that we did something in the past on a regular basis, but that was finished in the past. One more time in this phrase there is no present, that’s all about past.Lesson 1

  1. I used to sing songs every evening, but after that domestic conflict, I don’t sing in the evenings any more.
  2. We used to play the guitar once per week, but now we play every day.
  3. You didn’t use to study, but now you study. What happened to you?
  4. They didn’t use to have many books, but now they have.
  5. He used to be stout, but now he is not.
  6. She didn’t use to be fat, but now she is.
  7. There used to be a lot of snow here, now there is no snow these days.

Pay attention to the short forms in the answers: we use the auxiliary verb in positive and negative phrases as usual.

The difference is when we have a comparative phrase, and not the question. As we do not have an auxiliary verb, we cannot put it in the sentence.

  1. “She didn’t use to go out every day, but now she goes out every day.” Or “She didn’t use to have fun during the parties, but now she has.”
  2. “You never used to smoke, but now you smoke.”
  3. “Did they use to travel a lot when they studied in school?” – “Yes, they did, but not too often.”/”No, they didn’t.”

Now let’s study the second construction – “Get/be used to

We use it to show that we are accustomed to something or to do something, this is not new for us today. As “get used to/be used to” is a preposition, we use the main verb with “-ing” ending.

  1. I was not used to eating seafood, but I got used to eating it last month.
  2. You are used to living together.
  3. She is used to cooking sweets every day, but it was difficult before.
  4. We got used to speaking English from Monday to Friday, but we can take a rest on the weekends and speak German.
  5. They are not used to getting up at seven o’clock during summer holidays.

Can you see the difference now?

Find out the homework for the lesson 1 here.

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