Be used to
Be used to is an English lexical-grammatical structure that uses be with "used" (which in this case is the past participle of use) and to, and an object noun. A more formal version is "be accustomed to".
Meaning[edit | edit source]
Usually the thing that we are used to is something that is generally perceived as annoying, but not by the speaker.
Form[edit | edit source]
This is a pseudo-passive structure.
For example (present/past):
- "I am used to loud noise" / "I was used to loud noise."
- "I’m not used to loud noise" / "I wasn’t used to loud noise."
- "Are you used to loud noise?" / "Were you used to loud noise?"
- "Aren’t you used to loud noise?" / "Weren’t you used to loud noise?"
We don’t usually use the progressive aspect; *I am being used to…
Pedagogy[edit | edit source]
EFL learners often confuse this structure with used to, since they contain similar elements. Note that be used to contains be and is followed by a noun phrase, whereas used to is followed by an infinitive (to is part of to-infinitive), e.g. used to do something.