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    • Join Date: Sep 2006
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    #1

    used to

    I was answering an english test when I came across this question:

    Don't worry. She ___ by herself.
    a. is used to living
    b. is used to live
    c. used to living

    The answer key says that the right option is "a". Why couldn't i use "b" instead? I would like some grammar explanation about this question if possible, because I'm always confused on when to use infinitive or not.

    Thanks.

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: used to

    Be used to + nominal:
    She is used to living by herself. <meaning, accustomed to>
    She is used to it.
    She is used to live by herself.


    Used + to-infinitive:
    She used to live by herself. <meaning, before, but not now>
    She used to it.
    She used to living by herself.

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #3

    Wink Re: used to

    And here's something from me.
    The phrase, be used to + verb-ing, means that someone is familiar with the situation in question (to is a preposition here):
    She is used to living by herself. means she knows what it is like to live alone; she has experienced living by herself before.

    Now, if we want to talk about a situation that existed in the past (and doesn't exist now), we use the verb phrase used + to-infinitive (this time to acts as the infinitive):
    She used to live by herself. may mean that she no longer lives on her own; maybe she's living with someone else now.


    • Join Date: Sep 2006
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    #4

    Re: used to

    Infinitive and ing form is something that concerns me so much, I'm often in doubt of which one to choose, as I was in my first message:

    "I'm always confused on when to use infinitive or not."

    Probably I'm wrong but I tend to use infinive when I'm refering to something that is not concrete or is a possibility. And the ing form when I refer to a fact. Like:

    She is very pretty when using that clothes.
    She doubts when to use that clothes.

    However, I've seen people saying that often there are no rules about the usage of infinitive and ing form. Help.

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    #5

    Smile Re: used to

    Quote Originally Posted by hscadore View Post
    She is very pretty when using that clothes.
    She doubts when to use that clothes.

    However, I've seen people saying that often there are no rules about the usage of infinitive and ing form. Help.
    You can't 'see people say(ing)', you can 'hear them say(ing)'

    Normally, there are some rules that one should follow. The trouble is that whenever I need someone's help, there's no one that I know that is capable of explaining every single problem to me. I'm sure the same goes for you sometimes.

    And speaking of your sentences - I'd say:
    She looks very pretty (when) wearing those clothes.
    This is a relative clause, with ellipsis used.

    She looks very pretty when(ever) she wears those clothes.
    This is a non-ellipsis sentence.

    She is hesitant when to wear those clothes.
    After such a structure as when/where/what + to-infinitive, we normally use the infinitive.
    She is hesitant when she should wear those clothes.
    This is a sentence with the same two subjects (she) used in both clauses.


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    #6

    Re: used to

    Thanks. I should have used "wear" instead of "use", what a mistake.

  4. engee30's Avatar
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    #7

    Wink Re: used to

    Quote Originally Posted by hscadore View Post
    Thanks. I should have used "wear" instead of "use", what a mistake.
    English is not my mother tongue, but I think the verb use is also all right in those sentences, since whatever we wear, we actually use it.
    I just got the impression that wear is more appropriate in that context.

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