I am not confident about the ing form in stative verbs when using be/get used to. Do I have to use the ing form even if there are stative verbs? For example which one of these sentences is correct?

  1. I am used to understanding people while speaking
  2. I am used to understand people while speaking
  • Are you possibly confusing two different meanings of the phrasal verb "used to"? One means "accustomed to" ("I am used to eating breakfast before dawn"), and the the other means "previously" ("I used to eat breakfast before dawn"). It's a small difference, but important.
    – Andrew
    Nov 20, 2018 at 14:49
  • Yes, I got it but I dont know if i have to use the ing form in a stative verb when using get/be used to, for example which is correct. 1. I am used to understanding people when speaking or 2. I'm used to understand people when speaking? Thank you for your reply
    – Pacomme
    Nov 20, 2018 at 14:57
  • It's not clear why think it's different for stative vebs than other kinds of verbs, e.g. "I am used to eating breakfast before dawn" (action verb) vs. "I am used to seeing her eat breakfast before dawn" (stative verb). Is this something you learned from a textbook, or have you seen examples of stative verbs that weren't in the -ing form?
    – Andrew
    Nov 20, 2018 at 15:02
  • Thank you man, I really appreciated that. Anyway I didnt learn it anywhere but knowing that stative verbs dont use the ing form in continuos senteces I thought i could not use it
    – Pacomme
    Nov 20, 2018 at 15:20
  • In a somewhat contrived context, example #2 could feasibly be said by an interpreter, with the sense People make use of me to enable them to understand other people speaking foreign languages. Nov 20, 2018 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


"Understanding" is a gerund in this sentence and must be written with "-ing."

I am used to understanding people when they speak.

(I replaced "while speaking" with "when they speak" to clarify who is speaking. It could be ambiguous whether "while speaking" refers to the people or to "I".)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .