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I have a question about what expressions are more accurate when trying to describe the development of habits in progress.

For example:

1. I am now getting used to getting up at 7:30 am.

2. I get used to getting up at 7:30 am.

3. I get up at 7:30 am.

I think the first one should be correct but we usually use 'get used to' to describe some habits that have already been formed. Can it be used in the progressive tense? Or there is another expression that is more accurate? Thanks!

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  • 2 is incorrect. 1 and 3 are both correct and have different meanings.
    – user405662
    Feb 26, 2021 at 6:01
  • @user405662 Hi, thanks so much for your reply! I am a bit confused why the second one is incorrect because in my understanding it should be the one similar to the third one instead of the first one.
    – Steffeny
    Feb 26, 2021 at 6:27
  • For 2. you can say I am used to getting up at 7:30. This means I have got used to getting up at 7:30._
    – Shoe
    Feb 26, 2021 at 8:49

1 Answer 1

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As has been told you in the comments, "2" is not correct; it would be if you'd used the past.

  • I got used to getting up at 7:30 am. (correct)

Why is not the present correct? ( I get used to getting up at 7:30 am.)

This is not too easy to understand; when you use the present in that way the particular form of that present is called habitual present (CoGEL § 4.6 p. 179), a type of use of the simple present.

Examples from CoGEL § 4.6

  • We go to Brussels every year.
  • She makes her own dresses.
  • Bill drinks heavily.

(CoGEL) when they are used with the simple present, dynamic verb meanings, like stative verb meanings, usually imply an inherently unrestricted time span. But in this case the verb refers to a whole sequence of events repeated over the period in question.

In the first instance, the people the author is talking about went to Brussels several times and will keep on repeating this action for an undetermined time to come. The same idea of repeated action is found in "She makes her own dresses.": She has made several dresses (presumably over the years) and she will go on repeating this action as long as she finds this activity satisfying.
In the context of the sentence "2", there is not the possibility of a repetition with the action of "getting used to sth"; it takes place over a certain period of time, once, and as soon as the getting used to is fully acquired it stops and is not repeated; repeating it would have no meaning.
However, it is not quite simple and changing the context can make the habitual present correct for the verbal form "ge used to"; for instance, the following sentence is correct.

  • When I start a new design I get used to handling the various techniques needed by brushing up on the use I have made of them formerly.

CoGEL: A comprehensive grammar of the English language

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  • Not sure why OP accepted but didn't upvote. You even gave the licensing condition! "I have a vac job; I work on a milk round every summer – it's a shock to the system. But I shouldn't complain. The money's good. I get used to getting up at 7:30 am." Feb 26, 2021 at 17:46
  • @EdwinAshworth Which type of present is that of "get used to" according to your analysis? There are only two that can make sense, state and habitual; "state" makes no sense. What is left (habitual) doesn't either, as I see it, except by changing the context (the licensing possibility, which makes "habitual" logical again (as I see it of course)).
    – LPH
    Feb 26, 2021 at 19:16
  • Firstly, 'get used to' does seem coherent enough to need considering as a (transitive) MWV ('phrasal verb', some would say). It corresponds quite closely to 'learn' (but of course doesn't catenate with a to-infinitive). // As for stative/dynamic, it's dynamic (not 'action', of course), as there is a change in state (familiarity replacing unfamiliarity). // 'Getting used to' [something] must be seen as a continuous process, even though there are discrete learning opportunities. The learning is modelled as being continuous. The getting-up episodes are of course iterative. Feb 26, 2021 at 20:02

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