Grammar LessonVocabulary

How and when to use Would, Used to, Be used to, and Get used to

This lesson is about the uses of 'Would', 'Used to', 'Be used to', and 'Get used to'

Used to, would, be used to, get used to

Used to

You form the affirmative of used to with subject + used to + base form of the verb. Don’t use the infinitive or an -ing form. 

 We used to live in Brussels. 

 NOT : ‘We used to to live in Brussels,’ or ‘We used to living in Brussels.’

You form the negative with subject + didn’t use tobase form of the verb. You can also use subject + used not to or never used to + base verb. Don’t use usedn’t to

 I didn’t use to like coffee. 
 OR: I used not to like / l never used to like coffee. 
 NOT: I usedn’t to like coffee.

You form the interrogative with did + subject + use to + base form of the verb

 Did you use to have long hair?

You use used to for things that happened in the past but don’t happen now. 

 I used to smoke. (But I don’t now.)
 Ron used to play the piano. (But he doesn’t anymore.)


You use would + base form of the verb. Don’t use the infinitive or an -ing form. 

 The children would collect stones and shells on the beach every summer.

NOT: The children would to collect…, or The children would collecting

You use would for past repeated actions or habits. Don’t use would with state verbs. Use the past simple or used to instead.

 I would often go to see my old English teacher.

NOT: I would have long hair…    We would know each other well

Be/get used to

You use be used to to say that someone or something is familiar to you. You can use be used to in the present and the past. Use a noun or an -ing form after be used to

 I’m used to getting up early in the morning. (I do it often.)

 I was used to working long hours in my last job. (I often worked long hours.)

You use get used to to say that someone or something is becoming familiar to you. You can use get used to with all tenses. Use a noun or an -ing form after get used to.

 Since the divorce, he has become very sad. But I think he’ll get used to his new life.
 She found the heels too high, but she got used to them.
 She doesn’t like that big city, but she will get used to it.

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