"use to" and "used to"

English grammar and usage issues

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"use to" and "used to"

Unread postby RUdoniV » 13 Aug 2012, 13:42

I am a new TEFL teacher in Sankt Peterburg, Russia. Our class has been learning "use to", and "used to". A student emailed me with this sentence he found and wanted to know if it is correct; "I get use to watching TV." I am unsure but I thought "use to" and "used to" were for uses in the past. Please clarify. Thank you!
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Re: "use to" and "used to"

Unread postby Josef » 13 Aug 2012, 18:03

Your student's sentence is not quite right. It should be something like:

I get used to watching TV. (note used not use)

Actually, although this is now grammatically correct, it is not very idiomatic or probable. The present continuous would more likely be used:

I am getting used to watching TV.

This structure can be used in any tense, for example:

You will get used to watching TV.
He got used to watching TV.
They were getting used to watching TV.


The above structure (to get used to [doing] something or to be used to [doing] something should not be confused with used to do.

"Used to do" or "Be used to" Quiz

This Worksheet may be helpful.
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Re: "use to" and "used to"

Unread postby RUdoniV » 13 Aug 2012, 21:32

Thank you. It is exactly the answer I was looking for. I was thinking the same thing but wanted to verify the answer with a more experienced teacher. Again, thank you!
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Re: "use to" and "used to"

Unread postby Alex Case » 16 Aug 2012, 10:34

There basically isn't a "use to" structure, it is only used in the negative and questions of "used to" sentences, and not similar structures like "get used to" and "be used to", e.g.

used to - didn't use to - Did you use to?

got used to - didn't get used to/ haven't got used to - Did you get used to?/ Have you got used to?

The additional difficulty is that "use to" and "used to" sound identical in rapid speech because (especially final) d and t are such similar sounds.
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