Friday, June 22, 2018

Get vs. Be used to

Be used to

Be used to is used to show previous experience and familiarity with a certain situation. For example:

  • I am used to living abroad. - I have previous experience living abroad, so it's not difficult for me.
  • Jane isn't used to living abroad. - She doesn't have much experience living abroad, or if she does it is still difficult for her.
  • Paul is used to learning languages. - Paul has learnt languages before, so he's good at it.
  • Carol has never studied a foreign language, so she's not used to it. - Carol doesn't have previous experience learning a foreign language.

Get used to

Get used to is used for the process of acquiring experience and ability. In the beginning we are less experienced, then we get used to something - we go through a process of gaining experience. For example:

  • I wasn't used to living abroad, but I got used to it. - I didn't have experience living abroad, but I grew in experience until I was happy living abroad.
  • I didn't like bananas, but I got used to them. - In the beginning I didn't like bananas, but after a while I learnt to like them.


In the structure be / get used to, to is a preposition, not part of the to-infinitive. For example:

  • I'm used to cooking for myself. OK
  • I'm used to cook for myself. Incorrect - "to cook" is a to-infinitive and can't be used here.
  • I'm used to cooking for myself. OK

Used to - be/get used to

Used to is a completely different structure from be / get used to. Used to is for past habit, be used to means to get accustomed to something.

Try these exercises:



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