Unit 59. Be/get used to something (I’m used to…)


After a lot of practice, driving on the left became less strange:

  • She got used to driving on the left.

    Now after three years, driving on the left is no problem for her:

  • She is used to driving on the left.

    I’m used to something = it is not new or strange for me:

  • Frank lives alone. He doesn’t mind this because he has lived alone for 15 years. So he is used to it. He is used to living alone.

  • My new shoes felt a bit strange at first because I wasn’t used to them.

  • Our new apartment is on a very busy street. I suppose we’ll get used to the noise, but at the moment we find it very annoying.

  • Fred has a new job. He has to get up much earlier – at 6:30. He finds this difficult right now because he isn’t used to getting up so early.

    Notice that we say “She is used to driving on the left.” (not she is used to drive). To in be/ get used to is a preposition, not a part of the infinitive (see also Unit 56e). So we say:

  • Frank is used to living alone, (not is used to live)

  • Jane had to get used to driving on the left, (not get used to drive)

    Do not confuse I am used to doing (be/get used to) with I used to do. They are different in structure and in meaning.

    I am used to (doing) something = something isn’t strange for me:

  • I am used to the weather in this country.

  • I am used to driving on the left because I’ve lived in Britain a long time.
    I used to do something means only that I did something regularly in the past (see Unit 24).
    You can’t use this structure for the present. The structure is “I used to do” (not I amused to do):

  • Nowadays I usually stay in bed until late. But when I had a job, I used to get up early.

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