Emad Ragheb posted:

What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences :

1- He used to work in zero gravity . 

2-He was used to working in zero gravity. 

Hello, Emad,

In (1), "used to" is a modal phrase that indicates that he formerly performed his work in a weightless environment.

In (2), "used to" is an adjective phrase that can be replaced with "accustomed to." He was accustomed to working in a weightless environment.

The two types of "used to" can actually be combined. We can say, "He used to be accustomed to working in zero gravity." Or we can say:

(3) He used to be used to working in zero gravity.

Let me know if you have any trouble understanding (3). I have used it to illustrate that you are working with two different types of "used to" here.


When I read your question and David's excellent answer, I was reminded of another thread from last year with the same subject heading:

used to

My reply on that thread covered most of what David says here, plus a couple of other things that you may find interesting but don't specifically address your question.

When I looked up the other thread, I was intrigued to find that its originator also had the user name Emad — just Emad.  Furthermore, that Emad made his last post just before the Grammar Exchanges's platform change (11 May of this year) and you joined just after (20 June).

This makes me suspect that you and the other Emad are the same person, and that somehow the platform change made you unable to log into your old account, so you opened a new one.  Am I right?

It's all right if that's what happened.  In fact, if so, I would like to apologize on behalf of the Grammar Exchange.  I'm just curious.


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