Study this example situation:
Jane is American but she has lived in Britain for three years. When she first drove a car in Britain, she found it very difficult because she had to drive on the left instead of on the right. Driving on the left was strange and difficult for her because:
She wasn’t used to it.
She wasn’t used to driving on the left.
But after a lot of practice, driving on the left became less strange. So:
She got used to driving on the left.
Now after three years, it’s no problem for Jane:
She is used to driving on the left.
I’m used to something = it is not new or strange for me:
* Frank lives alone. He doesn’t mind this because he has lived alone for 15 years. It is not strange for him. He is used to it. He is used to living alone.
* I bought some new shoes. They felt a bit strange at first because I wasn’t used to them.
* Our new flat is on a very busy street. I expect we’ll get used to the noise, but at the moment it’s very disturbing.
* Diane has a new job. She has to get up much earlier now than before – at 6.30. She finds this difficult because she isn’t used to getting up so early.
* Brenda’s husband is often away from home. She doesn’t mind this. She is used to him being away.
After be/get used you cannot use the infinitive.(to do/to drive etc.). We say:
* She is used to driving on the left. (not ‘she is used to drive’)
When we say ‘I am used to…’, ‘to’ is a preposition, not a part of the infinitive (see Unit 59C). So we say:
* Frank is used to living alone. (not ‘Frank is used to live’)
* Jane had to get used to driving on the left. (not ‘get used to drive’)
Do not confuse I am used to doing (be/get used to) and I used to do. They are different in structure and meaning.
I am used to (doing) something = something isn’t strange or new for me:
* I am used to the weather in this country.
* I am used to driving on the left because I’ve lived in Britain for a long time.
I used to do something = I did something regularly in the past but no longer do it (see Unit 18). You can use this structure only for the past, not for the present. The structure is ‘I used to do’ (not ‘I am used to do’):
* I used to drive to work every day, but these days I usually go by bike.
* We used to live in a small village, but now we live in London.