Let’s look at an example sentence:
I like living in London. I am used to the noise.
Meaning: I am accustomed to the noise in London. It is not new to me.
Therefore, the meaning of “to be used to something” is:
= to be familiar with something.
= to be accustomed to something.
If you are used to something, then the thing is not new to you.
The pronunciation of “used” in this context is: /juːst/
Affirmative with noun phrase
subject + verb to be + “used to” + noun phrase
I am used to the noise.
To change the tense, we change the tense of the verb “to be”.
When you lived in London, did the noise bother you? (Question in past tense, second person singular)
No, I was used to it. (Past tense, first person singular)
When your parents lived in London, did the noise bother them? (Question in past tense, third person plural)
No, they were used to it. (Past tense, third person plural)
The verb “to be” is an irregular verb. It is important to know its form in order to fully understand the “to be used to” structure. Here is my lesson explaing it in more detail. – The verb BE.
Affirmative with gerund
We can use a gerund as the noun phrase.
Form with gerund:
subject + verb to be + “used to” + gerund
A gerund is a verb acting as a noun. A gerund is the ING form of a verb.
Mark: Are you tired?
Jane: No, I am used to running.
I am used to eating sushi.
The man is used to sleeping on the bench.
Mark is used to living alone.
subject + verb to be (negative form) + “used to” + noun phrase / gerund
= to not be familiar with something.
= to not be accustomed to something.
Jane is not used to wearing stilettos.
The horses are not used to the snow.
Mark is not used to waking up early.
David wasn’t used to driving.
Warning – A similar grammar structure
There is another similar grammar structure in English:
subject + “used” + infinitive form
This structure describes a past habit.
I used to smoke.
Do not confuse the 2 structures!
I have a separate lesson for this other structure: USED + infinitive