Used to and Would in reference to past events. The difference between Be used to and Get used to

The grammatical construction Used to in English is used when it comes to events or states in the past. One could argue here; doesn’t past simple tense play this role in the speech! And that would be a fair objection if not for the one feature of used to. We use this construction for events or conditions in the past that are no longer relevant and do not occur.

They used to travel a lot when they were younger. (But they don’t any more)

In this case, in the following situations, we only use past simple:

1. When talking about events that occurred at a certain time in the past.

I went to work yesterday. (NOT I used to go to work yesterday)

2. To say how many times the situation occurred in the past.

I went to the theatre five times last month. (NOT I used to go to the theatre five times last month.)

 

Along with the Used to construction, we can use Would for routine events or repeated actions in the past:

We would / used to go out on Saturdays.

However, we do NOT use Would with state verbs:

They used to live in the village. (NOT They would live in the village)

 

The construction Be used to + noun / pronoun / -ing form means having a habit of something.

They are used to the cold. - It means that they have lived in such conditions for a long time and accustomed to this weather.

I wasn’t used to working in the bog company. - It means that once it was unusual for me.

 

The construction Get used to + noun / pronoun / -ing form means getting used to something, that is, being only in the process of habituation, acclimatization, etc.

I am getting used to such a hot weather here.

We didn’t like his sense of humor, but we got it.

 

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