Really struggling to understand tenses that do not have an action & I have looked up everything I think it is but it does not appear to qualify/be correct. I have been staring at this for hours.

I would really appreciate any help now as its 1am and i have been googling all verbs & tenses for about 4 hours+ :/


1 Answer 1


The sentence in the title

I was not used to their accents.

contains one verb -- was -- and it's past tense.

The phrase used to in that sentence is not the past tense idiom. It's another idiom, pronounced the same way /'yustə/, but with a different meaning. Be used to means the same as be accustomed to.
This used to idiom is a predicate adjective and requires an auxiliary be verb (that's the was)

  • She is used to taking the 9:12 bus. = She is accustomed to taking the 9:12 bus.
  • I will never get used to their accents.

The other used to idiom doesn't use an auxiliary verb; it is an auxiliary verb, with a special sense.

  • I used to live in Chicago. = I lived in Chicago at some past time (but I don't live there now).

So, if you see a be verb in front of used to, it's the "accustomed to" sense, not the past sense.

  • So it is an accustomed verb, not auxiliary verb? Just to clarify as I go to study up on accustomed verbs which |I have never heard of :/ Thank you so much I was completely lost.
    – Touche
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 0:53
  • Ok, theres no such thing as a accustomed verb, so its an auxiliary verb or a modal auxiliary? I do not appear to understand these at all and am currently looking them up; auxiliary is still not making sense to me sadly. I realise the sentance was using 'used to, as in accustomed to or no longer familiar with but I still dont get the auxiliary very well clearly :/ Thank you again.
    – Touche
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 1:04

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