English Grammar In Focus
Learning English Grammar As A Foreign Language

date: April 8, 2010

USED TO OR BE USED TO

Belajar Bahasa Inggris Grammar & Conversation Lengkap
CASE STUDY THREE : Some of my students asked me about habitual action in present time. And I explained that habitual action in present time is used in present simple. Then, some of others asked me whether there was habitual action in the past time. Then, I said,"Yes!".

To express Habitual action in the past time, we then use /used to/. Here, /used to/ is used to express a habit, acitivity or situation that existed in the past but which no longer exists in the present time (Betty Scrampfer Azar, P.101, 1989).

For example:

Melinda used to take an English Course at Delta English Course.

The sentence above describes habitual activity in the past time but no longer exists in the present time. In Indonesia language, /used to/ is (Dulu Pernah). This expression is different of Simple Present tense which describes a habit or habitual action in the present time.

For example:

I often learn Math together. or,
I visit my grandma every sunday.

To express something habitual in the present time, we usually use the expression /often/ or /every .../. However, we use /used to/ to express a habit or an acitivity in the past time.

/Used to/ is also called Quasi Auxilliary. Then, you can use /used to/ to express not only habitual past but also negation in the past time.

For example:

I usedn't to go with him.

Here, /used to/ is used to express negation of habitual action in the past time. In other words, /used to/ is used as an auxilliary but also to describe negation of habitual past. In Indonesia language, /usedn't/ to means "Dulu Belum Pernah".

Now, compare these sentences below!


1.I usedn't to live in Bali. (Negation for habitual past)
2.I never live in Bali. (Negation for habitual present)
3.I have never lived in Bali. (Negation for habitual present)

From the comparison above, we find that no.2 and 3 does not express negation of habitual action in the past time. In sentence 3, we find that "I did not live in Bali in the past time but do not know in the present time." In sentence 1, we find that "I did not live in the past time as well as in the present time And I never imagine or plan to live in Bali some other time.

Take notice this following structure!

(+) Subject + used to + Infinitive
(-) Subject + usedn't to + Infinitive, or (-) Subject + did not + use to + infinitive
(?) Did + subject + use to + infinitive ?

BE USED TO

/Be used to/ is used to express somthing usual or normal for someone to act or to be with.

For example:

I am used to living in a cold climate.

Take notice that you must change the infinitive into Ing form verb (Also called "Gerund") after /be used to/. In Indonesia language, /be used to/ means "Terbiasa".

Similarities of Be used to:

be accustomed to
get used to
get accustomed to


For examples:

I am used to working hard all day
I am accustomed to working hard all day
I get used to working hard all day
I get accustomed to working hard all day

Those expressions can be used either in present time or in past time.

For examples:


I got accustomed to learning English Together at night.

The sentence above express something usual or normal for someone in learning English in the past time.

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