What's the difference between used to and be / get used to?

Used to and be/get used to are quite different. Look at these examples, and complete the sentences below.

I used to drink a lot of coffee.

I used to have long hair.

Tom was a model, so he was used to having his photo taken.

My dog isn't used to other people yet, so I keep him on a lead.

I haven't got used to the weather here yet - it's so different from my country.

It took me months to get used to wearing contact lenses.

 + VERB is for habits or states in the past. It is always past - you can't use it in any other form!

 + VERB-ING / NOUN means something is difficult at first, but gradually becomes easier. It can be past, future, simple, perfect, continuous - anything!

 + VERB-ING / NOUN means something was difficult at first, but you experienced it often so it is not a problem at the time of speaking. It's most common in the past or present simple.

When you say get used to, 'get' means 'become'. After you get used to something, you are used to it!.

I didn't like his cooking at first, but I'm used to it now.

After several years, I got used to his cooking.

Practice 1

Choose the best word(s) to complete these sentences. You will need to decide if it's a noun phrase (after despite) or a clause (after although).

  1. I hate giving presentations. I'm not used to  in public.
  2. I don't think Maria will be scared of your dog. Her parents are farmers so she must  animals.
  3. Sara  at a gym, but now she teaches sport in a school.
  4. What's the name of the man who  live opposite you?
  5. My baby didn't like loud noises, but she's gradually  them.
  6. If you  saunas, you might find it difficult to breathe at first.
  7. After my sister broke her arm, she had to  writing left-handed.
  8. My mum always  to say "eat your greens or you'll have no dessert!"