Used to, be used to + V-ing

Used to, be used to + V-ing

“Used to” and “be used to + V-ing” are commonly used expressions in English that refer to past habits, past states, or familiarity with certain actions or situations. Understanding how to use these expressions correctly is important for effective communication and to accurately convey your intended meaning. They are also relevant for success in the TOEFL exam.

1- Used to:

– “Used to” is used to talk about past habits or states that were true but are no longer true.

– It is followed by the base form of the verb (infinitive without “to”).

– For example: “I used to live in Paris when I was younger.”

2- Be used to + V-ing:

– “Be used to + V-ing” is used to talk about actions or situations that are familiar or habitual to someone.

– It is followed by the gerund form of the verb (“-ing” form).

– For example: “She is used to working long hours.”

3- Forming negative and interrogative sentences:

– To form negative sentences with “used to” and “be used to + V-ing,” add “not” after “used to” or “be used to.”

– For example: “He didn’t use to eat spicy food,” or “I am not used to speaking in public.”

– To form interrogative sentences, invert the subject and “used to” or “be used to.”

– For example: “Did you use to play the piano?” or “Is she used to driving in heavy traffic?”

4- Differentiating between “used to” and “be used to”:

– “Used to” refers to past habits or states that are no longer true.

– “Be used to + V-ing” refers to familiarity or being accustomed to certain actions or situations.

5- Confusion with “be used to” and “get used to”:

– “Be used to” describes an existing state of familiarity or being accustomed to something.

– “Get used to” describes the process of becoming familiar or accustomed to something.

– For example: “She is used to the cold weather” (existing state) vs. “She is getting used to the cold weather” (process of becoming accustomed).

Understanding and correctly using “used to” and “be used to + V-ing” will help you express past habits, states, and familiarity with actions or situations accurately. In the TOEFL exam, you may encounter questions that test your knowledge of these expressions, such as completing sentences with the correct form or understanding their meaning in context.

Remember to pay attention to the verb forms, negation, and word order when using “used to” and “be used to + V-ing.” By practicing and familiarizing yourself with their usage, you can confidently express past experiences and familiarity in English.


Put the verb into the correct form:
-ing or infinitive (I am used to doing or / used to do).

Examples: Jane had to get used to driving on the left. (drive)
Bill used to be very fit. Now he’s in terrible condition. (be)

1. When I was a child, I used to __ swimming every day. (go)
2. It took me a long time to get used to __ glasses. (wear)
3. There used to __ a cinema on this corner but it was knocked down. (be)
4. I’m the boss. I’m not used to __ told what to do. (be)
5. You’ll have to get used to __ less if you want to lose weight. (eat)
6. I used to __ Ann but now she gets on my nerves. (like)
7. Ron got tired very quickly. He wasn’t used to __ so fast. (run)
8. Tom used to __ a lot of coffee when he was a student. (drink)

Answers :

1. go 2. wearing 3. be 4. being 5. eating 6. like 7. running 8. drink

Used to, be used to + V-ing


Add an appropriate form of be if necessary. If no form of be is necessary, leave the space blank.

1. I have lived in Malaysia for a long time. I __ used to consistently warm weather.
2. I __ used to live in Finland, but now I live in France.
3. I __ used to sitting at this desk. I sit here every day.
4. I __ used to sit in the back of the classroom, but now I prefer to sit in the front row.
5. When I was a child, I __ used to play games with my friends in a big field near my house after school every day.
6. It’s hard for my children to stay inside on a cold, rainy day. They __ used to playing outside in a big field near our house. They play there almost every day.
7. A teacher __ used to answering questions. Students, especially good students, always have a lot of questions.
8. People __ used to believe the world was flat.
9. Mrs. Hansen __ used to do all of the laundry and cooking for her family. Now children are older and Mrs. Hansen has gone back to teaching, so the whole family shares their household chores.
10. Trains __ used to be the main means of cross-continental travel. Today, most people take airplanes for long-distance travel.
11. Ms. Stanton’s job requires her to travel extensively throughout the world. She __ used to travelling by plane.
12. You and I are from different cultures. You __ used to having fish for breakfast, I __ used to having cheese and bread for breakfast.

Answers :

1. am 2. – 3. am 4. – 5. – 6. are
7. is 8. – 9. – 10. – 11. is 12. are…am

Used to, be used to + V-ing


Complete the sentences using used to.

1. Somebody from Britain is thinking of going to live in your country. Warn him/her! — You would have to __ .
2. Some friends of yours have Just moved into an apartment on a busy street. It is very noisy. They’ll have to __ .
3. Jack once went to the Middle East. It was very difficult for him at first because of the heat. He wasn’t __ .
4. Sue moved from a big house to a smaller one. She found it strange at first. She had to __ in a much smaller house.
5. The children at school had a new teacher. She was different from the teacher before her but this wasn’t a problem for the children. The children soon __ .

Answers :

1. get used to the weather, food, etc.
2. get used to the noise
3. used to the heat
4. get used to living
5. got used to her

Used to, be used to + V-ing


Rewrite the sentences using used to where possible.

1. Every summer Eileen stayed with her grandparents while her parents were away on holiday.
2. Bruce drove a new lorry to Scotland, stopping one night in the north of England.
3. My aunt had a dog which she had rescued from drowning when it was a puppy.
4. As Mary was getting out of the boat at her foot slipped and she fell into the river.
5. Before the new shopping mall was built, there was a football pitch here for the local children.
6. Jasper grumbled that bread didn’t taste like cardboard until the supermarkets started making it.
7. During our voyage across the Atlantic I took several photos of the great seabirds which followed the ship, riding on currents in the air.
8. While I was waiting for the bus I noticed a group of tourists who were listening intently to a guide.
9. The punishments at our school were very harsh before the new head teacher was appointed.
10. As children we spent a lot of time helping with the household chores, but we didn’t help in the garden.
11. The politicians made innumerable promises before the election, but kept none of them, as usual.

Answers :

1. … Eileen used to stay …
2. T 8.
3. My aunt used to have ….
4. T
5. … there used to be a football pitch ….
6. … bread didn’t use to taste like cardboard ….
7. … which used to follow the ship ….
8 .T
9. … used to be very harsh …
10. As children we used to spend …
11. T

Used to, be used to + V-ing


Correct mistakes in the following sentences.

1. I used to was studying at the University of Southern California before I transferred here.
2. We use to go to the movies quite frequently.
3. She was used to get up early.
4. He was used to drink too much.
5. She used to speaking in public.
6. Janet is finally used to cook on an electric stove after having a gas one for so long.
7. Mr. Peters is used to think of himself as the only president of the company.
8. Mr. Anderson used to jogging in the morning during the winter months, but now he has stopped.
9. Are you used to sleep late at weekends?
10. She used to dancing every night, but now she is taking English.
11.There used to being a castle before the Romans came.
12.When I was younger I was used to swim long distances but now I’m out of practice.
13.As far as I know, you used to smoking a pipe, didn’t you?
14.People used to thinking that the earth was flat.
15. I’m not used to play tennis so long.
16.It’s difficult to understand Scottish people if you’re not use to their accent.
17. They aren’t used to hard working.
18. I’ve watched TV every night recently, I never used to doing it before.
19. We aren’t use to a cold weather.
20. He always used to teasing his sister.


1. I used to study / was used to studying …
2. We used to go / were used to going …
3. She used to get up /was used to getting up
4. He used to drink /was used to drinking
5. She used to speak / was used to speaking
 6. … used to cooking
7. Mr. Peters used to think …
8. Mr. Anderson used to jog…
9. … used to sleeping
10. She used to dance …
11 .There used to be …
12. … I was used to swimming …
13…. used to smoke
14. People used to think
15. I’m not used to playing …
16. … if you’re not used to..
17. They aren’t used to hard work.
18. … I never used to do it…
19. We aren’t used to …
20…. used to tease …

Used to, be used to + V-ing

Used to, be used to + V-ing