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I was used to working long hours.

I got used to working long hours.

What meaning do the verbs be and get have here? My textbook doesn't explain it. But from the examples they're used in, I have an impression that get emphasizes that there is some transition between one state and another. For example in my sentence got used means that I was not used to it before but then became used to it. While was used doesn't imply that, maybe I was always used to it.

And this usage in Present Simple:

I am used to it.

I get used to it.

Does get imply that however I am not used to it at the moment but I will be used to it soon?

  • 2
    To understand the difference between "be used to" and "get used to", just think of "get used to" as "become used to". However, I found the sentence "I get used to it", as a standalone sentence, rather odd. To me, it would be more natural to say "I'm getting used to it", or say it as a command "You get used to it", or say it as "I can/could/might/would/will get used to it", or put it in some conditions such as "I will keep doing it until I get used to it". – Damkerng T. Feb 14 '14 at 9:49
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    @DamkerngT, I agree with everything you said there, except the classification of "You get used to it" as a command; with the word "You" at the front, it's just a statement of fact: "How can you stand living like this??" she cried. "Eh," he said, "you get used to it." (Without the leading 'you', it is properly an imperative: "I don't like going to school!" whined the child. "Get used to it," said the parent, "you'll be doing it every day for the next 10 years.") – Hellion Feb 14 '14 at 14:21
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Think this way - "Why don't you practice the prayanama?"; "Ah, no. it's too tough."; "That's initially. Once you practice it daily, you'll get used to it." Certainly, you are not used to it now but then after some practice, you will be used to it.

In this case of working for long hours that requires more endurance...

You were used to .... -> you find no difficulty doing that and it was a kind of regular practice (habit?).

You got used to .... -> you found it difficult at first but then with practice, you found it okay and not so difficult.

You got it right! Got describes some transition there.

Check out here (11th point):

got (linking verb) - to reach a particular state or condition; to make somebody/something/yourself reach a particular state or condition. As in You'll soon get used to the climate here.

Whereas be describes the state you are already in.

  • You still haven't explained the subtleties between be and get in this structure. – Graduate Feb 14 '14 at 5:47
  • @Graduate check with link. edited. – Maulik V Feb 14 '14 at 5:52
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You question is about two steps

1) getting used to something
2) being used to something

You can think of it this way

first one must "get used to something", before one can "be used to something".

Once you get used to waking up at 6am, you will soon be used to commuting to work.

If you got used to something, then you were used to it.

I finally got used to my new schedule, and was used to the chaos.

Eventhough I was used to the long hours of studying, I never got used to the intensity of exams.

"Being used to something" does not necessarily mean it was easy to "get used to" it.
Sometimes the "being used to" is easier than the "getting used to".

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