Used to vs Be used to

She used to sleep late at night.
She is used to sleeping late at night.

Do you know the difference between these sentences? Why are they expressed in different ways?
Today in this post, I’ll explain how to use used to and be used to. They look similar but they have different uses.

Used to

We use used to + base form of verb to talk about a past situation that is no longer true. It tells us that there was a repeated action or state in the past which has now changed.

Examples

I used to sing for hours.
Sam used to live with us.
She used to cry very easily.
They used to get up early in the morning.

Remember
In statements, the form used to does not change. We do not use the verb be (is, am, are, was, were etc) before it. It always refers to past time.

You cannot say
I was used to sing for hours.
Sam was used to live with us.


As used to is used to refer to something that happened in the past therefore you cannot use am or will before used to. In short you cannot use verb to be before used to.

Sentence construction to use used to will be
Subject + used to + base form of verb

Be used to:

Be used to is an expression which is used to express a habit. It means ‘be familiar with’ or ‘be accustomed to’.
It can refer to the past, present or future. We follow be used to with a noun phrase, a pronoun or the -ing form of a verb:

Examples


I’m used to working late.
(I am accustomed to working late)

She is used to driving on her left.

He was a salesman, so he was used to travelling up and down the country. (He was accustomed to/was familiar with travelling.)

He is used to taking coffee at night.

I am used to getting up early in the morning.

She is used to eating fruits in the morning.

Sentence structure for be used to will be
Subject + verb to be + used to + noun/verb+ing + object

Remember

‘used to’ + infinitive and ‘be’ or ‘get used to’ + ‘-ing’

Be careful and do not to confuse used to (do something), which expresses a completed action in the past with be used to (be accustomed to or be familiar with)

She used to sleep late at night. ( She used to means this was done repeatedly in the past but not at present.)
*No verb before used to

She is used to sleeping late at night.
(She is accustomed to sleeping late at night)
*to be verb before used to
I hope it’s very clear to you now the difference between used to and be used to.

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