Explanation – Used To Vs. To Be/Get Used To

Used To Vs. To Be/Get Used To

Used to and to be/get used to look alike and seem like they should be connected somehow with each other, but are really very totally different things, and for this reason, using one when we should use the other will confuse whoever you’re talking or writing to and is worth trying to avoid.


Used To + Verb

We use used to + verb to talk about things that we did or that were in the past but that we don’t do or aren’t anymore.

When I was a kid, I used to play video games. I also used to watch cartoons, play baseball and (American) football, sleep in late, and eat a lot of sweets. I don’t do much of any of these things anymore. That’s why I say I used to do them.

The McChicken sandwich at McDonald’s used to be good, but now it’s one of their garbage cheepy sandwiches.

To Be/Get + Used To + Something (Object/Phenomenon)

We to be + used to + something to talk about things that we are acclimated to – that are normal and ordinary to us and don’t surprise us or otherwise interest us or command our notice or attention in other words.

We use to get + used to + something to talk about the process of going from where we weren’t acclimated to something (and it is still strange or surprising, etc.) to where we are acclimated to it (and it is no longer any of these things).

I am from California, so until a few years ago when I moved to a cold climate, I was only used to warm weather. I was not used to below zero temperatures, ice or snow. So when I moved to Northern Europe I had to get used to all these things. It took a couple of years, but now I am used to cold weather.

A Look At Them Together

Heinrich didn’t used to like spicy kabob. He’s from Germany. When he was a kid, there didn’t used to be so much kabob or spicy foods, so people were not very used to either of them. Now, he lives in a multi-cultural wonderland with all manner or enrichment that people never used to be are things people have got[ten] more and more used to. Where would Germans be without their spicy foods, what other accompanying wonders do they have to look forward to getting used to and remember as things that didn’t used to be?