take some getting used to vs. need to getting accustomed to

Cub Pilot

Senior Member
Hi, everybody
please, is it possible to say need to getting accustomed to instead of take some getting used to in this context (J.D. Vance, 'Hillbilly Elegy')?
...
1) More than any other person, Dad understood what Kentucky meant to me, because it meant the same thing to him. His mom remarried early, and though her second husband was a good man, he was also very firm and an outsider - even the best stepparents take some getting used to. In Kentucky, among his people and with plenty of space, Dad could be himself. I felt the same way....

2) More than any other person, Dad understood what Kentucky meant to me, because it meant the same thing to him. His mom remarried early, and though her second husband was a good man, he was also very firm and an outsider - you need to getting accustomed to even the best stepparents. In Kentucky, among his people and with plenty of space, Dad could be himself. I felt the same way....

I much appreciate your help. Thanks in advance:)
 
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  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "You need to" must be followed by a bare infinitive.

    I'm not sure why you're asking about "the continuous form [of the verb]": in "take some getting used to", "getting" is functioning as a gerund, hence as a noun.
     

    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    "You need to" must be followed by a bare infinitive.

    I'm not sure why you're asking about "the continuous form [of the verb]": in "take some getting used to", "getting" is functioning as a gerund, hence as a noun
    I know getting in take some getting used to is a gerund, but ,nevertheless, I would like to express the gradual accustoming to stepparents. It wouldn't be wrong in this context, quite the contrary.
     
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    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Well, the notion of "gradually" is not present in the sentence you quoted in #1, but given that you want to express it I suggest:

    "It takes time to get used to even the best stepparents." The continuous form of the verb doesn't fit the context, to my mind. The "need to getting accustomed to" in the title of this thread is ungrammatical, as Keith implied, I'm afraid.
     

    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    Forget the context. I would just like to know if its possible to say You need to getting accustomed to even the best stepparents or if there is another structure using the continuous form to express the gradual accustoming to stepparents.
     
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    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I would just like to know if its possible to say You need to getting accustomed to even the best stepparents.
    It isn't. You've already been told that "need to getting..." is incorrect. See #2 and #4.

    I don't know why you want to use the continuous form of a verb to express the idea of gradualness. This is unnecessary, because the definition of "getting used to something or someone" already implies a gradual process. It is not possible to get used to something in an instant.

    You can of course use the continuous form if you wish, but not in structures like your example in #1.
    You could do it in a sentence like: "I am still getting used to my stepparents." Note that "getting" is not a gerund in this case.
     

    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    I don't know why you want to use the continuous form of a verb to express the idea of gradualness. This is unnecessary, because the definition of "getting used to something or someone" already implies a gradual process. It is not possible to get used to something in an instant.

    You can of course use the continuous form if you wish, but not in structures like your example in #1.
    You could do it in a sentence like: "I am still getting used to my stepparents." Note that "getting" is not a gerund in this case.
    Mind, I don't want to use getting used to but need to get accustomed to in the continuous form. Once again:I'm looking for a possibility to say the clause you need to get accustomed to even the best stepparents using the continuous form. It is not wrong to say that a stepchild needs gradual accustoming to new stepparents, is it?!
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    For the 4th time ;):
    need to getting accustomed to :cross:

    And reinforcing what’s already been explained…
    Getting/becoming accustomed to something already means doing so over time, being in the process of doing that.
    Being accustomed to it is your state at the end of that process.

    But note that we don’t normally talk about getting “accustomed” to people, as opposed to things or situations. Instead, we talk about getting used to them – as in the OP quote! In order to use accustomed to, you need to refer to something (expressed as a noun phrase) about the people, not to the people themselves. For example: When his mother remarried, he had to get accustomed to having a stepfather.
     
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    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    "To get accustomed to" and "to get used to" both already embody the idea of gradualness. You don't need a continuous form for this.
    Once again:I'm looking for a possibility to say the clause ... using the continuous form.
    We know, but unfortunately it can't be done. The trouble is that once you say "need to", you then need to follow this with a bare infinitive (see #4) or a bare infinitive phrase. This means that if the verb is to be "get used to", you can't use its continuous form. The best you could do is use the infinitive of a different verb that then takes the gerund "getting" as an object. For example:
    "You need to start getting used to X."
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm looking for a possibility to say the sentence you need to get accustomed to even the best stepparents using the continuous form.
    That makes no sense. Are you trying to make the infinitive continuous, as in saying that someone needs to be getting accustomed to someone or something? In what context would you use that? Not to state a simple fact, which is what’s being done in the clause you quote in the OP – which states the fact that: {getting used to someone} takes time.

    … it takes time to get used to even the best stepparents.​
    … getting used to new stepparents takes time, however nice they are.​
    … even the best stepparents take some getting used to.​
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    If you're so desperate to use the continuous form (and I can't for the life of me think why you would), then you need to use a verb that requires that form (which "need" does not). Some examples:

    You need to start getting used to...
    You need to try getting used to...
    You need to think of getting used to...

    But of course all these alter the meaning. Because, as people have already told you, the continuous meaning is already expressed in You need to get used to... The verb "get" means to become: a gradual process.
     
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    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    I do apologize for my putting moaning questions. I haven't lost my courage after all and would like to know if it is possible to say.....You need getting accustomed to even the best stepparents.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Sorry, Cub Pilot.

    You know how, in German, some prepositions must be followed by the dative and others must be followed by the accusative? So it is in English: some verbs must be followed by the infinitive.

    The verb "need" must be followed by an infinitive. "You need to get used to..." :tick: "You need getting used to..." :cross: If you don't follow that rule, everybody will say "Oh, he's a stupid foreigner; he hasn't learnt good English yet."

    No option. No choice. Believe us, and drop this idea.
     
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    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    The verb "need" must be followed by an infinitive.
    Except when it's followed by a noun (e.g. We need air/water/money/love), or a noun phrase, such as a gerund, or (rarely) a past participle.

    In a passive construction, the infinitive is the auxiliary "to be", and is followed by the past participle of the main verb:

    The door needs to be painted.
    In Scotland you may even find "to be" elided, and hear The door needs painted.

    What you will come across, though, is The door needs painting. {painting is a gerund here, not a participle}

    This won't help the OP where "getting used to the step-parents" is active, but if we passivize it by making step-parents the subject, as it was in the original "take some" version, then we get:

    Even the best step-parents need getting used to. {This still means the step-child needs to get used to even the best step-parents}

    But here again "getting" is no longer a participle, but a gerund, and it filld a noun role, as can be seen by noting that we can put a quantifier before it, e.g.: ... need a lot of getting used to.

    If the OP then wants to emphasize the gradual nature of the getting-used-to-them process (which isn't necessary, but let's run with it), then the adjective gradual can be inserted before getting used to, or the adverb gradually can be added after it:

    Even the best step-parents need gradual getting used to.
    Even the best step-parents need getting used to gradually.
     

    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    Except when it's followed by a noun (e.g. We need air/water/money/love), or a noun phrase, such as a gerund, or (rarely) a past participle.

    In a passive construction, the infinitive is the auxiliary "to be", and is followed by the past participle of the main verb:

    The door needs to be painted.
    In Scotland you may even find "to be" elided, and hear The door needs painted.

    What you will come across, though, is The door needs painting. {painting is a gerund here, not a participle}

    This won't help the OP where "getting used to the step-parents" is active, but if we passivize it by making step-parents the subject, as it was in the original "take some" version, then we get:

    Even the best step-parents need getting used to. {This still means the step-child needs to get used to even the best step-parents}

    But here again "getting" is no longer a participle, but a gerund, and it filld a noun role, as can be seen by noting that we can put a quantifier before it, e.g.: ... need a lot of getting used to.

    If the OP then wants to emphasize the gradual nature of the getting-used-to-them process (which isn't necessary, but let's run with it), then the adjective gradual can be inserted before getting used to, or the adverb gradually can be added after it:

    Even the best step-parents need gradual getting used to.
    Even the best step-parents need getting used to gradually.
    Do you agree? Please make a statement to Edinbrgher's great reply. I would like to extend my knowledge of the semi-modal/ main verb need using this reply. Can I take all this to be a fact? Please help. Thanks again.
     

    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    It's a thousand pities that just one user (involved) has been willing to comment on Edinburgher's excellent reply! Please think it over once again. It deserves it. Bring yourself to comment on the reply, please. Hard work pays off:). Maybe, you have just to say 'I agree'.
    Many thanks for your help. Special thanks to Edinburgher for his/her excellent replies:thumbsup::thank you: :thank you: :thank you: , and special thanks to Keith Bradford for his great replies and his sincere and kind comment in post #22 :thumbsup: :thank you: :thank you::thank you:.
     
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