I found a question in an English book for 12th grade about sentences transformations. The book called "Action Pack" by Cheryl Pelteret, Liz Kilbey and Judith greet. It is in Jordan Kingdom in the middle east.

The question is "Complete the second sentence so that it has the same meaning as the first".

The third sentence is "It is normal for me now to get up early to study" they transformed it to "I am used to getting up early to study now".

They used "be used to". I don't know what just happened here, is there a rule in English talks about transforming sentences from "It is familiar" or "It is normal" to "be used to" sentences? I didn't find anything like that on Internet! So what is this rule?

  • No rule. But the meaning of: It is normal for me to x=I'm used to y. They are semantically equivalent. But this is really ELL.
    – Lambie
    Jan 11 '17 at 21:50
  • So there is no direct grammatical relation between the two forms?
    – user214694
    Jan 11 '17 at 21:56
  • 1
    It's not about grammar; it's about meaning.
    – Lambie
    Jan 11 '17 at 22:00
  • Like If I am a non-native speaker, how would I know the similar meanings or same meanings for sentences like this one. I couldn't find anything like this on internet or grammar books! Even in the book that i've mentioned, they haven't mentioned anything about this thing, they just put this question. Without explaining anything about this thing. How would I know the sentences which have similiar meanings or same meanings? Please help me, thank you!
    – user214694
    Jan 11 '17 at 22:09
  • Note that there is not an exact equivalence. SpeakSpeak defines 'be used to':<< If you are used to something, you have often done or experienced it; it is not strange, new or difficult for you.>> "It is normal for me now to get up early to study, but I still find it difficult" shows that the difficulty constraint is not invoked to the same degree. Jan 11 '17 at 22:46

In this example, the two sentences have slight different meanings. Using "normal" indicates that getting up early it the typical occurrence. Saying "I am used to getting up early now" says this but contains a little bit more information. The "now" at the end indicates that while waking up early is typical now, it was not always the habit of the speaker. Saying one is used to something is not a wholehearted endorsement. Depending on the tone (which you may get partially from context) this can mean anything from "I am resigned to..." to "for better or for worse, I am now accustomed to..." which display different subtle shading of irritation at the fact that the character now performs such an action.

In this case, there is no particular rule, it is more a matter of adding some flavor and subtle information to the statement.

Note: do not be confused by the use of the word "used" here. While "used" typically is a word to indicate an action in the past or present (such as "I used the stove" or "that may be used"), it may also mean the meaning described above. I can see how that would be very confusing to a non-native speaker. Instinctually I would say that the only examples where this is the case are where someone is stating that they are used to something. However, I am not an expert, so I may be incorrect on this last detail, but it is the only one springing to mind at this time.


The 'rule' is that words/phrases of similar meanings can often be interchanged. Looking up a word in a thesaurus might be beneficial to finding similar words.

If you check out this page for example, you'll see synonyms of familiar.

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