Posted by: lyonenglishnetwork | April 18, 2012

Somebody I used to know

There is a song on the radio at the moment. I think it’s called somebody I used to know. Here it is:

It’s by goteye, I think.

Anwyay, one of the main lines in the song goes like this: Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.

What is he talking about ?

In fact, he’s probably talking about a relationship that was once very strong but the couple have grown apart, and here is the meaning: “Now you’re just somebody that I used to know”. I knew you once, in the past, but now I don’t know you anymore.

1. This is the first meaning of used to. It’s in the past, in French, we say it’s “révolu”.

For example, I’m an Englishman living in France, I could say: I used to live in England. It’s not true now, but it was true in the past.

2. The second meaning of the phrase used to in English, is when you become accustomed to something. For example:

When I first arrived in France, I drank tea. In fact, I drank tea for the first few weeks. Then I noticed that most people were drinking coffee in the morning, so I switched to coffee. At first, it was bit odd (strange). But now, I’m used to drinking coffee in the morning.

You’ll notice that the construction is: I am used to drinking coffee, that is a part of ‘to be’ + used to + verb + ing.

A similar meaning is: “I’m getting used to it”, which you can use if you’re in the process of becoming accustomed to something at the moment. For example, if you’re learning English, it might take some time to become accustomed to the sounds of the language.

So you can say: It’s taking some time, but I’m getting used to it.

One last thing: don’t get used to confused with usually: I usually go to the cinema on Fridays.

O.K., that’s all for today’s post.


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