I used to or I'm used to

I used to or I'm used to

By Alena Lien, 

20 September 2018



"Used to" is a phrase to refer to past regular activities.


"To be used to" is a phrase to express becoming accustomed to something.



images%20remember%20remind_edited.jpg



I used to


"Used to" refers to a past regular activity that no longer happens, or situation that is no longer true.


  • "She used to play in the garden a lot."

  • "This ring used to belong to my grandma."



"Used to" or "Use to"?


A long time ago, this was used in the present tense form, but is now only used in the past tense. The only time when it is used in the present tense form is when it is paired with "did" in the same sentence - this is usually the case for American English, not always for British English.


["did (not)"] + ["use to"]


  • "Did you use to play basketball?"

  • "No, I didn't use to play basketball, I used to play baseball."


You may have also noticed that the pronunciation is the same in both the present and past tense form. This can sometimes create some confusion with its spelling. But remember, this phrase is usually used in its past tense form.



"Used to" or "Would"


The modal verb "would" can also be used instead of "used to" when talking about past habits.


  • "She would play in the garden a lot."

  • "I used to play tennis when I was a kid, but I would always hit the ball over the fence."



However, we can't use "would" when talking about states or situations.


  • "We used to live in Singapore."

Not - "We would live in Singapore."




I'm used to


"To be used to" is a synonym for "to be accustomed to" or "to be familiar with." This phrase refers to states and can be used to refer to the past or present. Usually this is followed by a noun or gerund phrase.


["to be used to"] + [noun/gerund phrase]


Past:

  • "He was used to travelling a lot because of his job."


Present:

  • "I'm used to living by myself."



To get used to


This is a relevant idiomatic phrase which means "to become accustomed to" or "to become familiar with." This phrase refers to a process instead of a state and is used to refer to the future.


Future simple:

  • "She just started, so she'll get used to it."


Present simple with a future meaning:

  • "The work is challenging, but I intend to get used to it."