Spanish verbs: Estar acostumbrado a…

spanish verbs estar acostumbrado a

In Spanish, there are several ways to express routines and habits. One of them is by just using frequency adverbs. But, there’s a common verb that can help you talk about things you do over and over again. It’s Acostumbrar. The Spanish verb acostumbrar has different uses that may help you from time to time. Also, there are several phrases and structures we can use to provide even more information and be more specific. One of these expressions is Estar acostumbrado a.


Since it combines two verbs and a preposition some Spanish learners don’t know how to use it properly. For that reason, if you have found yourself in the middle of the playground without knowing what to do, you must keep reading. Here, you’ll learn how to use Estar acostumbrado a and how you can conjugate to never make a mistake again and level up your Spanish.


What is estar acostumbrado a


When we talk about the word acostumbrado we mean when we are used to everyday or habitual things/ tasks. It also has the meaning that it is repeated, it is frequent, or that it has certain customs. These customs can be good or bad. We can say that “Estar acostumbrado” is equivalent to “Es habitual” even though building sentences with these phrases is completely different.


We can get customs for something constant in our daily lives. We can also get them by thinking that it will result in their own or general benefit. Still, there are cases in which we get them because of the circle of people around us. Let’s see some examples,


Yo me acostumbre a fumar por mis amigos, ya que lo hacían cada vez que salíamos.

I got used to smoking for my friends, since they did it every time we went out.


Sofía se acostumbró a ir al gimnasio todos los días como disciplina para mejorar su cuerpo. Sofia got used to going to the gym every day as a discipline to improve her body.


Mi abuelo está acostumbrado a comprar el periodico todas las mañanas.

My grandfather is used to buying the newspaper every morning.


On the flip side, it can also mean being used to a person or a thing. For example,


No se si es amor, pero estoy acostumbrada a hacer todo con él, y no lo puedo dejar.

I don’t know if it’s love, but I’m used to doing everything with him, and I can’t leave him.


Another way you can use “estar acostumbrado a” can be for traditions or culture. For example,


Aquí no se acostumbra a bailar de esa manera.

Here it is not customary to dance that way.


En venezuela está la costumbre de comer empanadas y tequeños.

In Venezuela there is the custom of eating empanadas and tequeños.


How to structure and conjugate estar acostumbrado a


To better structure and understand a sentence with the phrase estar acostumbrado a. Let’s break down the expression first.


The word acostumbrado is a participle of the verb acostumbrar which makes it an adjective. For its part, estar is an auxiliary verb that, together with the gerund of another verb, does not add meaning to it. This only serves to conjugate it. Finally, we have the preposition a, which serves as a connecting word between another sentence or word. With this explained, we can build a formula in this way.


Subject + estar + acostumbrado + a + noun


Let’s have a look at some examples.


Debemos estar acostumbrados a los cambios, nada en esta vida es lineal.

We must be used to changes, nothing in this life is linear.


Juan parece estar acostumbrado a dar órdenes todo el tiempo.

Juan seems to be used to giving orders all the time.


Debes estar acostumbrado a escuchar a tu papá contar el mismo chiste una y otra vez.

You must be used to hearing your dad tell the same joke over and over again.


As you may see, we can even add up some verbs before “estar acostumbrado a” like deber or parecer. They will help you change a bit the meaning of the sentence and express your thoughts differently.


You can conjugate the adjective acostumbrar reflexively. Therefore, we can build words like acostumbrarme, acostumbrarte, acostumbrarse, acostumbrarnos, acostumbraros y acostumbrarse. Of course, just like most Spanish verbs, we also have the gerund which is acostumbrando, and the participle which is acostumbrado. Using them isn’t challenging and we will prove that with the examples below.


No puedo acostumbrarme a vivir sin tomar coca cola, es muy difícil dejarla.

I can’t get used to living without coke, it’s very hard to quit.


Silvia se está acostumbrando a que su novio le lleve la comida todos los días.

Silvia is getting used to her boyfriend bringing her food every day.


Ya estoy acostumbrado a que él siempre falte a mi cumpleaños.

I’m used to him always missing my birthday.


Acostumbrarse vs estar acostumbrado


In Spanish, we have the structures estar acostumbrado and acostumbrado. Although they have meanings in common, their times are different. When we speak of estar acostumbrado, we refer to the result of an action of which we already have a created habit. For example,


Maria está acostumbrada a levantarse todos los días a las 6am.

Maria is used to getting up every day at 6am.


Carlos está acostumbrado a que le preparen la comida.

Carlos is used to having his food prepared.


On the other side, when we talk about acostumbrarse, we mean the process of getting used to something. For example,


Me cuesta acostumbrarme a los cambios tan repentinos.

It’s hard for me to get used to such sudden changes.


Hiley se está acostumbrando a su nueva vida en España.

Hiley is getting used to her new life in Spain.


In other words, you can use estar acostumbrado when we talk about something that happened in the past and is no longer happening. Here is an example,


Carla estuvo acostumbrada a no comer carne por mucho tiempo.

Carla was used to not eating meat for a long time.


The examples above have proven that we don’t just use “estar acostumbrado a” for bad habits or things. We also use it for positive things. As is the case of getting used to healthy routines for our body, or actions for our good. It can help us so that other people pick up good habits too.


Generally speaking, estar acostumbrado a is indeed a long phrase but quite useful. Depending on what you want to express, you may use it reflexively if necessary. Keep in mind all you have learned today. If you do, you will no longer make a mistake again when using acostumbrar and estar acostumbrado a. If possible, practice as much as you can, it will help you become proficient in no time. After all, practice is essential to achieve success and become a pro at speaking Spanish.

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