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  1. nouamaneer's Avatar
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    #1

    be used to do/ doing or be used to something

    Hello,

    I am confused over the use of 'be used to'. Is it followed by:
    1- Do (be used to do something),
    2- Doing (be used to doing something),
    3- Something (be used to something),

    Thanks for your help beforehand,

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: be used to do/ doing or be used to something

    Quote Originally Posted by nouamaneer View Post
    Hello,

    I am confused over the use of 'be used to'. Is it followed by:
    1- Do (be used to do something),
    2- Doing (be used to doing something),
    3- Something (be used to something),

    Thanks for your help beforehand,
    There are several completely different meanings of "be used to [do [something]]"

    1. The least common: "A paintbrush is used to do paintings." In this usage, the sentence means: "You use a paintbrush to paint". It is grammatical to say simply, "A paintbrush is used." It's a timeless statement, using "use" as a normal verb.

    2. More common: "I'm used to it by now" = "I'm habituated to it now". This is statement about the present.

    3. Probably most common: a statement about the past: "I used to go swimming when I lived near the sea."

    There might be more. Which usage are you interested in?

  3. nouamaneer's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: be used to do/ doing or be used to something

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    There are several completely different meanings of "be used to [do [something]]"

    1. The least common: "A paintbrush is used to do paintings." In this usage, the sentence means: "You use a paintbrush to paint". It is grammatical to say simply, "A paintbrush is used." It's a timeless statement, using "use" as a normal verb.

    2. More common: "I'm used to it by now" = "I'm habituated to it now". This is statement about the present.

    3. Probably most common: a statement about the past: "I used to go swimming when I lived near the sea."

    There might be more. Which usage are you interested in?
    I'm much more interested in 'be used to it". Is grammatically correct?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: be used to do/ doing or be used to something

    Quote Originally Posted by nouamaneer View Post
    I'm much more interested in 'be used to it". Is grammatically correct?
    So it's the sequence of words that you're asking about, rather than the meaning?
    Yes, that phrase could be used grammatically, as in "You should be used to it by now." It could also be used ungrammatically, since we don't normally attribute grammaticality to phrases.

  5. nouamaneer's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: be used to do/ doing or be used to something

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    So it's the sequence of words that you're asking about, rather than the meaning?
    Yes, that phrase could be used grammatically, as in "You should be used to it by now." It could also be used ungrammatically, since we don't normally attribute grammaticality to phrases.
    I can't understand your last sentence. "It could also be used ungrammatically, since we don't normally attribute grammaticality to phrases", what do you mean?

    Thanks,

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: be used to do/ doing or be used to something

    Quote Originally Posted by nouamaneer View Post
    I can't understand your last sentence. "It could also be used ungrammatically, since we don't normally attribute grammaticality to phrases", what do you mean?

    Thanks,
    I mean you need a sentence or a clause, or something meaningful to judge whether it is grammatical. Your sentence is like asking, Is "need a sentence or" grammatical?
    That phrase can be used grammatically, as I have done in my first sentence. But we do not normally say that a short sequence of words out of context is grammatical or not.
    We can judge whether, "I be used to it" is grammatical, because that is a sentence which purports to have meaning. (It's not grammatical).

    Another point is whether you are asking specifically about "be used to", or whether you mean "be" as the verb, and are asking about "are used to", "am used to", "is used to", etc. In this interpretation of your question, your examples 2 and 3 are correct, but I can't think of a grammatical example for 1. "be used to do something."
    Last edited by Raymott; 07-Nov-2011 at 01:54.

  7. nouamaneer's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: be used to do/ doing or be used to something

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I mean you need a sentence or a clause, or something meaningful to judge whether it is grammatical. Your sentence is like asking, Is "need a sentence or" grammatical?
    That phrase can be used grammatically, as I have done in my first sentence. But we do not normally say that a short sequence of words out of context is grammatical or not.

    We can judge whether, "I be used to it" is grammatical, because that is a sentence which purports to have meaning. (It's not grammatical).
    The trick is in the context then. Whether a sentence is grammatical or not, depends on the context in which it is used. Is this what you meant?

  8. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: be used to do/ doing or be used to something

    Quote Originally Posted by nouamaneer View Post
    The trick is in the context then. Whether a sentence is grammatical or not, depends on the context in which it is used. Is this what you meant?
    More precisely, I meant: Whether a phrase is grammatical or not depends on the sentence in which it is used.
    Grammaticality is a judgement about syntax. It is usually impossible to tell from a three or four word phrase whether it is syntactically correct or not - only whether it could be used syntactically.

    Getting back to your original question:
    Your 2 and 3 could be used syntactically eg.:
    2- Doing (be used to doing something),
    "My wife is used to doing the ironing" - assuming, by "be", you mean any of its forms.
    3- Something (be used to something),
    "My father is used to the hot weather." - same assumption.

    1- Do (be used to do something), This one is wrong. You can't say, "He is used to do something."

    If, by "be", you mean strictly the infinitive, be, the answer might be different.

  9. nouamaneer's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: be used to do/ doing or be used to something

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    More precisely, I meant: Whether a phrase is grammatical or not depends on the sentence in which it is used.
    Grammaticality is a judgement about syntax. It is usually impossible to tell from a three or four word phrase whether it is syntactically correct or not - only whether it could be used syntactically.

    Getting back to your original question:
    Your 2 and 3 could be used syntactically eg.:
    2- Doing (be used to doing something),
    "My wife is used to doing the ironing" - assuming, by "be", you mean any of its forms.
    3- Something (be used to something),
    "My father is used to the hot weather." - same assumption.

    1- Do (be used to do something), This one is wrong. You can't say, "He is used to do something."

    If, by "be", you mean strictly the infinitive, be, the answer might be different.
    Thanks a lot. You cleared a mess that was in my mind.

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