One-Point English Lesson: Used To

Michael Grammar 4 Comments

learn-english-free-lesson-Used-to
I used to have a 1968 Ford Mustang. It was my first car. I used to drive it everywhere. One of my friends in those days had a 1970 Mustang, and we used to try and race each other.  Now, I drive a Jeep. It’s my first car with a stick shift. I am slowly getting used to driving it now, but when I first got it,  it was hard to get used to driving a shift car. I guess as time goes by I’ll be used to it, but no car will ever be as fun to drive as my ’68 Mustang.

In English, used tohas two meanings and uses, and that is the pont for today’s One-Point English Class. Let’s have a look:

  • I used to drive it everywhere.
  • I used to eat cereal for breakfast everyday.
  • I used to live in Japan.

In these cases, used to refers to a past habit. When I was younger, I ate cereal for breakfast all the time. I dont eat cereal for breakfast anymore, it is not my habit anymore. So, I would say, “I used to eat cereal for breakfast.”

In the above examples, used to describes a past habit. The grammar is used + [V Infinitive]:

Used to  is also used when we talk about an experience which was once  new, difficult, or strange at first, but not anymore:

  • At first I didn’t like coffee, but now I am used to drinking it.
  • Angelina is from a small town in Colombia, so she is not used to living in a big city.

As in these examples,  the grammar is be used to + [V Gerund]:

You can also follow be used to with a noun:

  • I  have lived on Long Island all my life, but I am not used to the cold winters.
  • I eat Thai food often, so I am used to the spices.

You can also say get used to something:

  • I  have lived on Long Island all my life, and I am slowly getting used to the cold winters.
  • I like Thai food often,  but I can’t get used to the spices.

So, let’s review:

  • I used to drive a car with a stick shift. (This means – I don’t drive that kind of car anymore)
  • I am used to (or got used to) driving a car with a stick shift. (This means – At first, driving such a car was strange, but now it is not strange for me )

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