Learn English Grammar: USE, USED, and USED TO



How do you use the verb USE? The answer is, in several different ways! In this lesson, I will explain how to use this common verb, with lots of examples from everyday English. We will also look at the difference between “used” and “used to”, which can mean two very different things. Thanks for watching! http://www.engvid.com/learn-english-grammar-use-used-and-used-to/

TRANSCRIPT

Hello. I’m Gill from www.engvid.com and we’re having a lesson today on the verb “to use”, which is quite an interesting verb and it is used in different ways. So I’m going to show you a few ways that we can use the verb “to use”. Okay. So: “use” in the past tense: “used”, and we also talk about being “used to”, so I’ll be showing you some examples of the different ways of using “used to”. Okay.

Let’s just start with the simple meaning. Right, to use something, the simple meaning. “I use a computer at work.” Okay? I have a computer on my desk, I use it. It’s part of my job to use the computer. Okay? “She uses a sat-nav in her car.” To help her find her direction, how to go to somewhere when she doesn’t know the way, a sat-nav machine in her car. She uses. So, obviously, “use”, “uses” depending on the person. I use, you use, but he/she/it uses. We just add the “s” on the end in the present tense. Okay. And then just the past tense, if I… If I… In the past I had a job where I used a computer at work, so we could change that to past tense if we want to and say: “I used a computer at work”, just the same. Okay. So that’s just the simple way of using “use”.

So let’s have a look at some more complicated ways of using this word. And the first one is “to get used to” something. And you may have noticed when I said that I made more of an “s” sound here: “used”, “ss”; whereas with this one, it has a sort of “z”: “to use”. “Use”, but then when we come to this, “use”, “used”, “used to”. Okay? So just remember there is a slight change of pronunciation when you say “to get used to something”. And this is when you’re adapting to a new situation, to get used to. You’re probably having to get used to the English language and all the complications in it, and the new vocabulary that you’re learning. You have to get used to a new language, adapt to it.

Okay, so looking at this first example, maybe this is someone who has moved from a hot country to a cold one, and they’re finding it very difficult in the winter because the winters are cold and long. So, they might say: “I can’t get used to the long, cold winters.” It’s really difficult to adapt, to get used to the long, cold winters. Okay? And then this one, maybe someone who has started a new job and there are a lot of new things to learn, so they’re saying: “There’s a lot to learn in my new job, but I’m getting used to it. I’m adapting gradually. I’m getting used to it.” Okay? So this is about adapting, a gradual process of getting used to something. Okay? So that’s getting used to something.

And similarly: “to be used to”. Again, it’s the “s” sound, to be used to something is when you have adapted or it was… It’s always been like that. It’s normal, it’s a regular situation. So there’s nothing new here. It’s something that you’ve always done or you’ve done for a long time so it feels normal. So, you say: “I’m used to getting up early”. “I’m used to”, “to be”, “I am”, so that’s part of the verb “to be”. “I am used to getting up early.” I’m not used to getting up early, but some people are. I find it very difficult, getting up early. Oh dear, especially in the long, cold winters. Mmm. Okay: “I’m used to getting”, well, somebody. “He is used to getting up early.” I’m not.

Oh, here’s a negative one: “He’s not used to driving on the left.” Maybe someone who’s moved countries, again, in his country they drive on the right, so he moves to a country where they drive on the left, how confusing, and he’s not used to driving on the left. You can even have an accident if you’re not used to it. I think you have to practice quite carefully first. Not used to driving his car on the left. Okay?

And then finally in this section, again, the weather in this country, in the UK: “We’re used to wet weather in the UK.” Okay? “We are used to wet weather”. It rains a lot, especially in the autumn. Okay. And in the spring, and in the winter, and sometimes in the summer as well, so it’s very… It can be very wet here. You may not want to come now I’ve told you that, but anyway. Perhaps you’re here already. Anyway: “We’re used to wet weather in the UK.” And the longer you spend here, you… Easier you’ll get used to it as well. Okay, so that is the first part of the lesson. We have one more set of examples which we’ll be covering next.

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