Hi, guys! I’m going to Bella’s now. She’s just moved into a new house. She asked me to help her with the numerous boxes with the old staff from the attic.
She used to live in a smaller house and quite far from school. Her Dad used to drive her to school every day. Now it takes her about 10 minutes to walk to school.
Max: Hi, Bella. How are you?
Bella: Hi, not bad, thanks!
You know, I would share the room with my brother and now I’ve got my own… I’ve been dreaming about this day and now … I fell alone.
Max: I’m sure, I’ll get used to it! What have you got there?
Bella: It’s a box that my mum found in the attic. It’s full of my old things.
Max: Cool! Let me see!
Bella: This is my schoolbook from primary school.
Max: You used to have really neat handwriting!
Bella: And look. Here is a photo of me when I was five.
Max: Did you use to wear dresses?
Bella: Yes. All the time!
Max: But you never wear dresses now. And look at your hair! It’s red!
Bella: I know… I didn’t use to have dark hair.
Max: You used to be pretty, Bella!
Bella: What do you mean, I used to be pretty?!
Max: Oh, sorry! I didn’t mean to offend you. You look so cute with that curly red hair.
In the lesson today we’ll focus on the following constructions: used to, be used to and get used to. These look very similar but do they mean the same thing in English?
These are all extremely common ways of expressing ourselves in English. Native speakers use them every day.
Used to is completely different from be and get used to. Those two are actually quite similar. So let’s start with used to first.
USED TO is used to describe past habits and states that do not happen or exist anymore.
Let’s have a look at the examples from the dialogue:
She used to live in a smaller house. – But now she moved in a bigger one.
Her Dad used to drive her to school every day. – But now she walks every day.
You used to have really neat handwriting! – She might not have that neat handwriting anymore.
You used to be pretty. – Probably, she looks different now.
· Pay attention to the pronunciation of used to: ['ju:stə], while the past form used without to is pronounced as [ju:zd].
· The construction used to always refers to the past. We do not use it in present or future tenses.
· It doesn’t change its form in statements.
You used to wear dresses.
The negations and questions are formed with the help of the auxiliary verb DID.
Remember, that we do not used –ed in interrogative and negative sentences.
You didn’t use to wear dresses.
Be careful! You can always change used to for the Past Simple tense.
He used to work for IBM.
He worked for IBM. (Past Simple)
But you cannot always use used to instead of Past Simple because used to refers to repeated actions in the past that do not happen anymore!
You can’t say: We used to go to London last year.
You say: We went to London last year. (Past Simple)
We can also use WOULD + infinitive to talk about a habit or repeated action in the past.
We usually use 'would + infinitive' in this way when we're telling a story about the past.
So, we can say:
When I was a child, I would share the room with my brother.
When I lived in Italy, we would go to a little restaurant near our house.
However, we don't use WOULD + infinitive to talk about states in the past. So, if we're talking about the past, we CAN'T say:
I would have red hair.
I would live in Scotland.
BE USED TO
Be used to means “be accustomed to” or “be familiar with” – привыкнуть.
Be used to shows that something is normal, not unusual for us.
Be used to can refer to past and present.
I am / was used to studying English every day.
I am used to his jokes.
You are / were used to studying English every day.
He is / was used to studying English every day.
We form the negative sentences with the help of not.
I am not used to his jokes.
To ask a question we place to be before the subject.
Are you used to his jokes?
GET USED TO
You can change the verb "to be" with the verb "get" to talk about the process of something becoming normal for us.
The construction refers to present, past and future tenses.
I'm gradually getting used to city life. (Present)
He didn’t like using the computer at first but he got used to it. (Past)
They will get used to live alone in the room. (Future)
Get used to / be used to are followed with:
· a noun phrase:
Tom is used to the noise.
Julie used to hard work.
I need to get used to my new car.
· a pronoun:
I didn't understand the accent when I first moved here but I quickly got used to it.
· the –ing-form of a verb.
Charlie is used to living in a noisy street.
I am trying to get used to driving on the left.
Let’s sum up what meanings the constructions used to, be used to and get used to have.
Used to – repeated actions in the past that don't exist anymore!
Be used to – normal, not unusual actions.
Get used to – the process of becoming normal.
Now read the sentences and match the underlined forms with the meanings on the left.
She used to tell me stories when I was a child. (repeated actions in the past that don't exist anymore)
She is used to living in tropical climate. (normal, not unusual actions)
He used to have a beard, but now he hasn’t. (repeated actions in the past that don't exist anymore)
I’m used to living alone. (normal, not unusual actions)
She will soon get used to wearing contact lenses. (the process of becoming normal)
He finally got used to the winter weather in Finland. (it will no longer be a problem for him)
Max: I’m sure, you’ll get used to the new constructions as long as you practice them a lot.
Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first. Use between 2 to 4 words, including the word in brackets.
1. I’m used to getting up early at the weekend.
2. I think I could easily get used to living alone.
3. I didn’t use to very well-behaved when I was a child.
4. When I was younger, I used to tell more lies than I do now.
5. I’m not used to looking after children.
That’s all for now.
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