Home > Grammar > What’s the difference between ‘used to’ and ‘be used to’

What’s the difference between ‘used to’ and ‘be used to’

Today in class, we practiced the difference between ‘used to’ and ‘be used to’.  ‘Used to’ is used for regular action in the past.  For example, “I used to play hockey when I was a boy” means that I regularly played hockey when I was a boy.  In addition, it has an implication that I don’t play hockey anymore.  However, this is only an implication – it’s possible that I still continue to play hockey.

‘Be used to’ means ‘accustomed to’.  For example, “I’m used to waking up early for work” means that I am accustomed to this.  In the above sentence, there is also the implication that at first it was difficult for me to wake up early for work.  However, not all sentences with “be used to” have this implication.  For example, “I’m used to a life of luxury” obviously does not imply that I first did not like a life of luxury.

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