Used to – Be Used to

Used to do – Used to doing, Version 2: Simple English Videos Lesson

Where are the tomatoes? You mean the tomatoes. He’s still getting used to my accent. I’m Vicki and I’m British. And I’m Jay and I’m American. I used to live in Cambridge in England. And I used to live in New York, but now we both live in Philadelphia. It’s a great city. Used to do: things that were true in the past, but not true now. So use ‘used to’ to talk about past habits. When I was a kid, I used to play baseball. I loved it. We didn’t play baseball in England, but my brothers used to play cricket. Jay, try some of this. What is it? Marmite. We used to eat it all the time when I was growing up in England. Now, here’s the tricky thing. We also use ‘used to’ in another expression. When we’re accustomed to something, we say we are used to it. Can you pass the sellotape? Huh? She means the scotch tape. Ah, it’s British English. Yeah, I’m used to it now. Ah, it’s British English. Yeah, I’m used to it now. Notice we use the verb ‘be’ here. We can also use the verb ‘get’, and that means growing accustomed to something. Hey Jay, look at this. I’ve got new glasses. He’s still getting used to them. Ah! Have some more marmite Jay. No thank you. It’s nice when you get used to it. OK, let’s compare the two structures. In England, people drive on the left hand side of the road. So I used to drive on the left when I lived there. But now I live in the US, where people drive on the right. It was strange at first, and I had to get used to it. I’m used to driving on the right side now. Ah, but sometimes you forget and get in on the wrong side. OK. I’m getting used to driving on the right – growing accustomed to it. Just one more thing. ‘Used to’ is followed by a verb. ‘Be used to’ is followed by a noun. So if you want to use a verb after ‘be used to’, you have to use a gerund, a noun form of the verb. Coffee? Oh, yes please. Thank you. Sure. I’m used to drinking coffee in the mornings now. In England I used to drink tea. Do you think we could sell marmite to Americans, Jay? Americans are used to putting peanut butter and jelly on their bread. And butter. Butter. Butter. Butter. Butter. Butter. Butter. Butter.
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3 thoughts on “Used to – Be Used to

  • October 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Very nice!!! I’ll share it with my students

  • December 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Oh my goodness!!! I was right!!! Since I’ve been watching these videos I’ve always thought Vicky had a British accent. Now I understand everything!
    I was living in London last year, and I still don’t know exactly what marmite is. I didn’t try it. Does it taste like jam? Oh, and when the jam is made from oranges, do you call it jam either?

    • December 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      Ha! Oh, you were right Silvia! I’m British! And no, marmite does definitely not taste like jam. It’s very salty – no sugar at all. Now that’s a good question about oranges. We call jam made with oranges marmalade. Jay’s mom used to tell him the difference was marmalade has bits of peel in it, while jam doesn’t, but I’m not sure whether that’s correct or not. British marmalade does usually has bits of peel in it though.


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