Get used to vs Come to terms

Dupont de Nemours

Senior Member
Spanish - Spain
"My grandmother has finally got used to living alone"

"My grandmother.................................living alone"

I have to fill the second sentence with a number of words between three and eight, including the word "terms"
Once completed, the second and first sentences have to have the same meaning

My attempt:

"My grandmother has finally come to terms with living alone"

I'm not totally sure whether or not both sentences have the same meaning.
I would need some help.
Thanks in advance.
 
  • Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I would say you've completed the exercise correctly. Come to terms with and got used to can have the same meaning. This seems to be what the exercise was looking for.

    However, just for your information, the two phrases are not actually identical in meaning. To come to terms with X means to accept the idea of X; it suggests that something was somehow distasteful, or undesirable, but that after thinking about it, you decide that it's acceptable.

    To get used to can mean something like this, but it can also mean something less negative: e.g. I've gotten used to eating desert every night. This simply means, I'm in the habit of eating desert every night. There's nothing necessarily positive or negative about it. If you say, I've come to terms with eating desert every night, it would mean something like: I really don't want to be eating so many deserts (because I'm on a diet), but I suppose there's no way to stop myself).

    So, if grandmother has gotten used to living alone, it could be that it was simply a change, not necessarily a bad change, or a difficult one. Perhaps she was used to watching the television at a low volume because it bothered her husband. But now, she can turn up the volume as loud as she wants. That's a getting used to that's positive.


    Finally, there's another similar phrase to get used to the idea of X that is more similar to come to terms with X.
     

    Dupont de Nemours

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Thanks Juhasz
    Talking about accepting something with pleasure or with annoyance, I think that the word "finally" may indicate that the grandmother didn't accept living alone with pleasure but forced by the circumstances. So that, taking account the word finally, both sentences may convey the same idea.
    What's your opinion?
     

    Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    You're right, finally may suggest that, but not necessarily. It might only mean that it took a long time; especially if it took longer than the speaker expected or thought was reasonable.

    E.g. "I can't believe grandma took so long to start turning up the volume on her TV after grandpa died. She would watch watch TV without being able to hear it for six months after grandpa died. Now, she's finally gotten used to living alone."
     

    Dupont de Nemours

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    You're right, finally may suggest that, but not necessarily. It might only mean that it took a long time; especially if it took longer than the speaker expected or thought was reasonable.

    E.g. "I can't believe grandma took so long to start turning up the volume on her TV after grandpa died. She would watch watch TV without being able to hear it for six months after grandpa died. Now, she's finally gotten used to living alone."
    Thanks again Juhasz
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I think that the word "finally" may indicate that the grandmother didn't accept living alone with pleasure but forced by the circumstances.
    "Finally" does not imply that. It just means "at the end". When used for time, it is similar to "eventually". It can mean "it took a long time".

    "Came to terms with" implies being forced by circumstances. "Got used to" doesn't.
     
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