I've come across the above sentence in a story. The structure "used to + present participle" puzzles me a bit. please explain its meaning and usage.

  • Did you try looking the expression "used to" in a dictionary? If so, was there something you didn't understand, that we can help with? Sep 20, 2019 at 4:07
  • It is given as "used to+v1" in the dictionary. But it is "used to+noun equivalent" in the given context. Isn't it? So it is brought to the perusal of linguistics here for clarification. Thanks for your swift response. Sep 20, 2019 at 4:44
  • “used to” means “accustomed to” here.
    – Xanne
    Sep 20, 2019 at 4:47
  • Ah, thanks for explaining your concern. Take a look at this: thefreedictionary.com/used+to Sep 20, 2019 at 5:04
  • I came to know that "used to" is an adjective followed by a noun in this context. Sep 20, 2019 at 5:20

1 Answer 1


Father was used to carrying luggage any way.

Here used is not the helping verb but it is the adjective.It means accustomed to. To is a preposition and so it is followed by an ingform.

This is different from used to which we use for past habits.

I am used to speaking English

I used to speak English

These are different structures and have differences in meaning

The first sentence means that I am accustomed or habituated to speak English

The second sentence means that I spoke in English in the past but now I stopped speaking English.

  • @ChinnabatthinaSivaKumar If you are satisfied with the answer, accept it. That's the best way of expressing your gratitude. You can up-vote as well. Sep 20, 2019 at 8:39
  • @ChinnabatthinaSivaKumar In your example "used" is not a verb, but an adjective. Note that the "to" is part of the PP "to carrying luggage anyway" JVL -- sorry but you need to change your answer.
    – BillJ
    Sep 20, 2019 at 12:55

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