Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Are you still filling in exercises in your textbook to learn “get used to” and “used to” in English?

Are you still struggling with how to actually use these phrases in a real conversation?

Today we will solve your problem! We start with a question from a listener below.

Hello Lindsay and Michelle:

I am a big fan of All Ears English podcast since I found your podcast this May. I fell in love with it immediately and listened every single episode. AEE is a great company while driving, working out or doing chores, I listen it whenever is possible. You guys did an amazing job. I told a lot of friends about how amazing it is. I so much like your voice, your clear pronunciation, your energy behind microphone, widely range of knowledge that not only help me in academic but also in social life. I live in USA. Topics of American culture in social life help me avoid some awkwardness, and feel more comfortable and confident to get along with people.

Your slogan “Connection, Not Perfection” encourages us not to seek perfection so much, just connect with people to help me talk more also. I see significant progress with my English. Thanks a lot for your dedication. You are deeply appreciated.

Today my question is how to use use to, used to, get used to

Is “used to” a phrase of verb? Or “use to” is a phrase of verb, “used to” is just the past tense of “use to” but I have heard a lot that native English speakers say “use to” when they talk about past. How about “get used to”? You’ll get used to it. is get a linking verb? can it be removed? Can I say you will use to it instead? It is confusing. It will be wonderful if it gets answered in any upcoming episode.

Thank you very much




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Great question!

Remember, even as we learn this somewhat sticky grammar point, focus on Connection NOT Perfection as we learn this!

Why do we want to learn this?

To be able to talk about your past and present habits which is your lifestyle.

Why does it matter to be able to talk about your lifestyle? So you can see if you connect with someone.

What do you have in common with the person? Do you live the same way? Or differently?

Don’t get hung up on what’s a linking verb and what’s a helping verb.

Instead, learn the chunks from today and learn them in the contexts of our conversations on this episode and our role play.

Focus on the purpose of the conversation then go out and use the language tips that you learn.


“Used to”

This is a habit in the past. It’s a thing you did regularly before.

Michelle what did you use to do after school when you were in middle school?

  • I used to go to my dad’s office work part time.
  • I used to eat cereal on the couch and watch TV.
  • I used to go to tennis practice every Monday and Thursday.


“To be used to”

This is a habit in the present.

Q: What are you used to doing on the weekends nowadays?

A: I am used to sleeping late and going to Darwin’s for a breakfast sandwich and coffee on Saturday mornings

A: I am used to going out of town, hiking, and staying at Air BNBs on the weekends in the summer.


“To get used to” (related to “to be used to”)

This means to become used to something then you will “be used to it” after you have “gotten used to it” or “you’ll get used to it”

Q: Michelle, was it hard to get used to living in NY?

A: Eh, I’m used to it


To learn more about how we use “get” to mean becoming check out episode 560.


Listen to the episode to learn more!

Leave your question below.


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