Many are used to...

  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, the "to" is not part of an infinitive, it is part of the verb "be used to". This verb requires a noun or noun equivalent.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In AE, "are used to" is ambiguous:

    1. Many are used to do it. :tick: = To do it, we use many people.

    2. Many are used to doing it. :tick: = Many people are accustomed to doing it.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    In AE, "are used to" is ambiguous:

    1. Many are used to do it. :tick: = To do it, we use many people.

    2. Many are used to doing it. :tick: = Many people are accustomed to doing it.
    While I get your point (that interpretation did not occur to me) would you use "many" as a pronoun in that situation? To me, it does not seem to fit,
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Is it correct?
    "Many are used to do it."
    As you've seen from the previous answers, your sentence is potentially ambiguous.

    It would help, please, if you could explain what you're using your sentence to mean, and what aspect of the use of "many" you're not sure about. Thanks.
     

    tunaafi

    Senior Member
    English - British (Southern England)
    In AE, "are used to" is ambiguous:

    1. Many are used to do it. :tick: = To do it, we use many people.

    2. Many are used to doing it. :tick: = Many people are accustomed to doing it.
    Actually, there is no ambiguity. The full infinitive after 'used ' in #1 tells us that this is the past simple (passive) of 'use'. The -ing form after 'used to' tells us that this is a 'used to form'. In speech the difference is even clearer - 'used' is pronounce /ju:zd/ in #1 and /ju:st/ in #1.
     
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