Learn English Grammar: USE, USED, and USED TO


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.

Okay, so here is the final example of how "used" is used. When you say: "I used to".

So, again, we've got the "ss" sound, not "z". "Used to". We also don't really pronounce

the "d" much. "Used to", so we don't try to say: "Used to", it's too difficult. So:

"Used to", but it's spelt with the "d" but it's not really pronounced. "Used to". So, this

is something, the meaning of this is quite different from the other: "to get used to",

"to be used to". When you say: "I used to do something", it's something in the past,

something you did in the past, but you don't do it now. Okay?

So, for example: "I used to live in North London."

Okay? "I used to". At one time I

lived in North London, but not now. Now I live in South London. Okay. The river... The

river divides London, and the areas are very specific. People in North London don't like

to go to South London, and people in South London don't like to go to North London sometimes.

It's a bit of a... The river is a big divide. Anyway:

"I used to live in North London, but I'm happy to say I now live in South London." Okay.

"She used to play tennis, but then she hurt her knee"

-she had an injury, something happened to hurt her knee-

"and she had to stop", had to stop playing tennis. She used to play.

She used to play. At one time she played tennis, but not now because she hurt her knee. Okay?

Another one: "I used to work full time",

to work full time, that means from say 9 or 10

o'clock in the morning through to 5 or 5:30 at night, so like seven hours, the full day.

And that's usually Monday to Friday for a lot of people. That's full time, about 35-36

hours a week is full time. So: "I used to work full time". The opposite of full time

is part time. It's called part time.

"...but I only work in the afternoons now". Okay,

so: "I used to work full time, but now I'm part time. I only work in the afternoons now."


And finally, this is where you see somebody and they look familiar, you think:

"I know that person. Where do I know that person from?"

And then you think back years and years and

years to when you were at school:

"Ah, we were at school together all those years ago.

So you say: "Ah, we used to go to the same school, didn't we? We used to go to the same

school, didn't we?" We don't go there now because we're too old to go to school.

"We used to go to the same school, didn't we?" And then the other person might pretend not

to recognize you. It depends, you know, what your relationship was at school, whether you

were friends or not.

But anyway, I hope those examples and the earlier ones have helped to show how this

interesting verb: "to use" can be used. So, to take it a little bit further,

we have a quiz on the website: www.engvid.com.

Please go there and try the quiz, see how you do.

And please, if you'd like to, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

And hope to see you again soon.

Bye for now.