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‘Used to do’ and ‘be used to’

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By Mary Morel

Reader’s question: What is the rule for distinguishing between ‘used to do’ and ‘be used to’?

Answer: ‘Used to do’ means something that you did in the past, possibly on a regular basis, and no longer do.

I used to knit when my children were little.

‘Be used to’ means to be or become familiar with.

You will be used to eating chillies soon.
I was used to seeing swans on the harbour.

We sometimes replace ‘be’ with ‘get’.

I am getting used to your company.

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