#Engclass: USED TO vs BE USED TO

Hi fellas! How are you? Did you have a good day? I hope you did. Today, we will have a discussion on the use of ‘used to’ and ‘be used to’ in sentences. Before we begin, please see this picture.


Do you still remember the official name of the twin towers in New York? They were built in 1973 and they eventually collapsed in 2001 by flight attacks.

Yep! They were the twin towers of Manhattan; World Trade Centre, New York.

Guess what, Americans decided not to rebuild the towers. So literally, the history of WTC building ended in 2001. Americans instead dedicate the premises as a memorial park of their fellows’ demises.


You will see people crying and bestowing their prayers here.


Alright, now you have seen the before-after of WTC building.

To express this situation, you can use “used to.” “Used to” means “dulunya…”

Do you know how to translate “Taman ini dulunya gedung kembar WTC.”?

Yes it is…

“This (memorial) park used to be the twin tower of WTC.”

You can use “used to” to (1) describe ‘something that once existed.’

It means that the object has vanished and no longer be seen today.

E.g 1a) “This (memorial) park used to be the twin tower of WTC.”

E.g 1b) “This city used to be a lake.”

“Used to” could also be used to (2) ‘tell something that once regularly happened or was true.’

E.g 2a) “I used to live in America for primary school. (Dulu, aku SDnya di Amerika.)

E.g: 2b) “I used to fall for you. Not for now.” (Dulu, aku suka kamu. Sekarang, ogaaah!” *Uhukk!

Righty-o, let’s talk about the use of “be used to.” Although “used to” and “be used to” seems alike, the meanings are different! See these sentences for a compare-and-contrast.

A) “She USED TO send me love texts. Now, only Tel*oms*l does.” *miris

B) “She IS USED TO living in the city.”

Did you see the difference?

“USED TO” means “dulu../ dulunya..” while “BE USED TO” means “terbiasa..”

So, the meaning of (B) sentence is “Dia TERBIASA tinggal di kota.” Note that “be used to” is always followed by nouns. Therefore, if you have a verb or an adj, make it a noun by adding –ing. Other examples of “be used to” are:

1) “Please, I AM NOT USED TO this loneliness.” This time, “be used to” is followed by a noun #Engclass

2) “She IS USED TO being broken-hearted.” Yes, it can be also followed by an adj by adding ‘being’ #Engclass

3) “He IS USED TO working hard.” Yup, you can also use a verb by adding –ng to it. #Engclass

Ready for the exercises, guys? Please translate these sentences. #Engclass

  1. “Saya tidak terbiasa dengan cuaca dingin.” #Engclass
  2. “Saya terbiasa makan makanan pedas.” #Engclass
  3. “Kamu terbiasa dengan suara musik keras?” #Engclass
  4. “Di depan rumah saya dulunya ada kolam ikan.” #Engclass
  5. “Dulu, BJ. Habibie adalah presiden Indonesia.” #Engclass


A question for our fella:

@josh_shima: If I say “There used to be a lake in the city.” is there any differences with “The city used to be a lake.”?

Well, those sentences in fact don’t share the same meaning.

  1. “There used to be a lake in the city.” means in the past time, this city (let’s say the city of Perth) had a lake. However, now a new condo has been built on the lake. So basically, there is no lake anymore – it is a condo now.
  2.  “The city used to be a lake.” means in the past time, this city was nothing but a lake – there were no people, houses, and offices. Fish, algae, and some dinosaurs were! Million years passed and the lake had somehow been filled up by sand. It was now a land. And some years after that some people formed a group and called themselves the first inhabitants of the land (society). The society and their compound had been growing until they eventually formed a city (a collection of compounds and groups of society).

Compiled and written by @wisznu at @EnglishTips4u on Augustus 27, 2015

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