In Grammar By Victoria

Expressions used to, and used to doing something in English

English can rightly be called the language of exceptions. This is especially true of the language section, as grammar. That’s how much it approved the rules, and the same number of exceptions. Each axiom of English grammar can always find some shade, some retreat, which will be well, very important, and that is clearly seen how competent you own speech.

That’s why you need to study the cases of the use of certain expressions in the English language, to compare the structure, remember how they differ from each other to the last detail. Especially when it comes to the voice samples that are constantly at the hearing and in everyday life. Let’s talk about the terms used to, and used to doing something in English. For convenience, we consider the combination of separately from each other in order to more clearly demonstrate the difference of their use in the English language.

The expression used to

The expression used to apply in two cases, and they both belong to the past tense. At this time it is not used. It is important that it is worth to remember. Well, of course, are two situations when it is not only possible, but necessary to resort to the expression used to. By the way, this expression is constantly on the ear, so it is necessary to know him. When we used to put the verb infinitive without the particle to.

First, we use the expression used to, when talking about the regular, repetitive actions, which took place in the past. That is, talk about what we did or liked to do a long time ago. For example:

When I worked as a postman, I used to get up early. — When I worked as a postman, I got up early in the morning.

I used to smoke two packets a day but I gave up smoking three years ago. — I smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, but three years ago I gave up the habit.

I never used to watch TV. — I never watched TV.

I used to eat a lot of chocolate every day, but now I am on a diet. — I used to eat every day a lot of chocolate, but now I’m on a diet.

Secondly, the term used to apply to mention some facts, states generalizations that have taken place in the past, but this is not the norm, namely:

I used to live in London. — I used to live in London.

Jane used to be fat, but now she is slim. — Jane used to be full, but now she is slim.

I did not use to like him but now I do. — He did not like me before, but now the opposite.

Please note that during the formation of the negative, as well as interrogative sentences, we use the auxiliary verb did, as in the expression used to remove the end of the last time d.

Did you use to visit my sister? — You used to visiting my sister?

Did you use to own the company? — You previously was the owner of this company?

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the term used to generally used in affirmative sentences, but in the negative and question it is desirable to refer to the simple past tense Past Simple — which also operates in the same function. And one more thing: an analog expression used to, but on the first occasion of the application (for repeated actions in the past) is a verb would.

When I was young, I would play with dolls. — When I was little, I played with dolls.

The expression used to doing something

More accurate and complete the expression is as follows: to be used to doing something. Accordingly, instead of the infinitive verb to be, we use the appropriate and necessary, we form — am, is, are, was, were. The expression used to doing something means that we are talking about something quite new for us, and not unusual, as usual. After the phrase used to can be used not only to the gerund, but a noun. For example:

He is used to living alone. — He used to live alone.

The children were at the boarding school so they are used to staying away from home. — The children were at boarding school, so they are used to being away from home.

She was not used to driving on the left side of the road. — She was not used to driving on the left side of the road.

They are not used to the cold weather. — They are not accustomed to cold weather.

In addition to the expression be used to doing smth, there is another option get used to doing smth, in which instead of the verb get may be used as verbs grow and become. What is the difference of the expression of the previous one? The meaning is the same — it is a question of getting used to something. Only in the first case, everything has already happened, and we are accustomed to or not, we are all familiar with for a long time. A second case is intended to show the process of getting used to something, focusing on that right now, and people trying to learn what is new for him or unusual.

She started working nights and is still getting used to sleeping during the day. — She started to work at night and still getting used to sleep during the day.

Since I retired from my job, I can not get used to having nothing to do all the day. I am retired, but still can not get used to the fact that I have nothing to do at home.

She had to get used to living in a smaller house. — She had to get used to living in a house smaller.



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