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    Gerunds & Infinitives

    I teach conversational English. Most questions on grammar that I am asked I can answer with the help of the internet (I am NOT an ESL teacher & didn't learn Grammar in school--they taught us grammar through reading & writing, not by learning rules). Anyway, this question has me baffled & the more information I find the more confused I get!

    Rule 1--Verb + Presposition requires a Gerund
    Rule 2--When expressing past habits: used to + infinitive (without a 2nd to)
    Exception: Used to + infinitive when expressing a negative statement or when asking questions (ex: I didn't use to swim every day.) do I explain this:
    I'm not used to getting up this early.

    It's negative but we use the gerund--is there an exception to the exception or am I myself totally confused? Thanks for your help!

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • England
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      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
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    Re: Gerunds & Infinitives

    Welcome to the forum.

    You have two completely different verbs here. The 'rule/exception' about the negative is pointless.

    1, BE used to (with a meaning similar to BE accustomed to). Here 'to' is a preposition, like the underlined words in BE interested in, RELY on, LOOK forward to.

    I am used to getting up early
    I am not used to getting up early.

    2. Used to. This modal-like expression (used for a past habit/state that is not true of the present) is followed by an infinitive.

    I used to enjoy being on my own.
    I didn't use to enjoy being on my own.

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