In this sentence I need to identify the form, meaning and use.
Would I be correct in thinking the stress comes on the word ‘used’?
I need to analyse this as part of a CELTA assignment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
6 November, 2007 at 18:14
Total posts: 26
Reply To: used to+ing gerund
Form : Be + adjective + preposition. Prepositions can be followed by nouns or Ving so I’m used to dogs or I’m used to eating … are both possible. A frequent mistake made by students is not realising that to is a preposition and thinking it starts an infinitive. So they’ll say I’m used to eat … This problem is made worse by the fact that they’ll probably already have met I used to (go swimming a lot) and will confuse the two.
As regards the stress, it depends. In each of the following examples a different word (underlined) would carry the primary stress.
A : I hope this isn’t too much for you?
B: It’s fine. I’m used to eating a big breakfast.
A : Coffee and biscuits for breakfast. OK?
B: Well, actually I’m used to eating a big breakfast.
A : Do you usually have a big lunch?
B: No, actually I’m used to eating a big breakfast.
A : Tim isn’t used to eating a big breakfast
Tim : Don’t talk rubbish. I am used to eating a big breakfast.
Stress will shift dependent on context.
Meaning : the structure describes something which has already frequently been experienced and is no longer strange.
Use : always depends on context. For example –
A : Be careful! He bites!
B : It’s OK. I’m used to handling hamsters use = reassuring
A : You can drive.
B : Oh – actually, I’m not used to automatics. Use : refusing
and a thousand and one others. Change the context, change the use.