Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Bits and Pieces of English Grammar & Usage: DID NOT used to vs.used NOT to
Thread poster: Last Hermit

Last Hermit
Local time: 07:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
Dec 3, 2005

Back to high school age, I was told a sentence like I did NOT used to like English.was incorrect. Many other peers on board may still hold that belief. But things are changing. English has also changed over these years. Nowadays constructions such as Did you used to live in Beijing? are commonly heard and well accepted. More and more people even accept He did not used to smoke.




The following is cited from the NODE:
1 The construction used to is standard, but difficulties arise with the formation of negatives and questions. Traditionally, used to behaves as a modal verb, so that questions and negatives are formed without the auxiliary verb do, as in it used not to be like that and used she to come here? In modern English this question form is now regarded as very formal or old-fashioned and the use with do is broadly accepted as standard, as in did they use to come here? Negative constructions with do, on the other hand (as in it didn't use to be like that), though common, are informal and are not generally accepted.




More discussion from Longman: http://www.longman.com/ae/azar/grammar_ex/message_board/archive/articles/00074.htm
 
Didn’t use to vs. used not to
 
Q:

I am a Britisher who has lived in North America for many years. Over the course of time, I have, of course, become accustomed to American idioms and incorporated them into my own speech. However, I’m not comfortable with a sentence like this:

    I didn’t use to like her, but I have now fallen madly in love with her.

Wouldn’t this be better:
    I used not to like her, but now I have fallen madly in love with her.

Thank you.
Bill
eswod@juno.com

A:

Both didn't use to and used not to, as in your examples, are correct.
Used not to is called "formal style" by Michael Swan (a British writer) in Practical English Usage, 2e (Oxford University Press, 1995). He lists "didn’t use to" as an informal style.
The second entry for used to in The Collins COBUILD English Dictionary (HarperCollins, 1995) includes these words: "If something used not to be done or used not to be the case, it was not done in the past or was not the case in the past. The forms did not use to and did not used to are also found, especially in spoken English."
Quirk et al. (A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Longman, 1985 p.140) lists "He usen’t to smoke" and "He used not to smoke" as preferred by many in British English," and "He didn’t use to smoke" and "He didn’t used to smoke" used by both British English and American English speakers.
Another British writer, L. B. Alexander, in Longman English Grammar (Longman, 1988), states in this first line of his explanation that used to may be formed without the auxiliary "do" as in "You used not to smoke." But he adds that didn’t is more commonly used to form negatives with used to. Alexander also states that "We can avoid the problem of the negative by using ‘never….’ ‘Fred never used to be so difficult.’ "
If the negative of used to is a problem, the insertion of "never" is a way to solve it. However, since you asked, The Grammar Exchange does not think that the negative of used to is a problem. Either the "formal" or "British" used not to is fine, as is the "informal" or "American" didn’t use to (or didn’t used to).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

chica nueva
Local time: 11:26
Chinese to English
keep 'use(d)' and 'to' together - don't separate them? Dec 3, 2005

1 Dictionary:
used to + verb is for talking about a situation or regular activity in the past
eg My dad used to smoke when he was younger.
I used to live in Italy, but now I live in England.

When you make used to + verb into a question or negative using the verb 'do', the correct form is use to.
eg My dad didn't use to smoke.
Where did you use to live?
(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)


2 Hermit's example: "Did you used to live in Beijing? He didn't used to smoke."
-> IMO these are fine (but it should be written 'use to', not 'used to' - this makes no difference to the pronunciation, but it is the correct written form)

3 Unfortunately, Cambridge also has the example:
When we were younger, we used not to be allowed to drink coffee.
-> IMO don't use this. I suggest never put anything between 'use(d)' and 'to'. Keep them together, that's safest.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Last Hermit
Local time: 07:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Did you happen to know "USED NOT to do sth." is a well-established structure? Dec 3, 2005

And that is what prescriptive grammarians hold dear. But now such construction is used mainly in formal texts.
=================================
In terms of the use of “didn't used to“, the NODE also suggests avoiding saying so.
2 There is sometimes confusion over whether to use the form used to or use to, which has arisen largely because the pronunciation is the same in both cases. Except in negatives and questions, the correct form is used to: we used to go to the cinema all the time, not we use to go to the cinema all the time. However, in negatives and questions using the auxiliary verb do, the correct form is use to, because the form of the verb required is the infinitive: I didn't use to like mushrooms, not I didn't used to like mushrooms.)
 
Neverthless, “didn't used to“ is very common in spoken English, though deemed informal. And all those most established grammar gurus such as Randolph Quirk et al. do NOT object to this usage. Why should we?
Do a Google serach and you'll find a multitude of them being used by the general public. Noted sources include BBC:
http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=zh-CN&newwindow=1&c2coff=1&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-17,GGLD:zh-CN&q="didn't%20used%20to"%20site:.bbc.co.uk&lr=lang_zh-CN|lang_zh-TW|lang_en

Lesley McLachlan wrote:

1 Dictionary:
used to + verb is for talking about a situation or regular activity in the past
eg My dad used to smoke when he was younger.
I used to live in Italy, but now I live in England.

When you make used to + verb into a question or negative using the verb 'do', the correct form is use to.
eg My dad didn't use to smoke.
Where did you use to live?
(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)


2 Hermit's example: "Did you used to live in Beijing? He didn't used to smoke."
-> IMO these are fine (but it should be written 'use to', not 'used to' - this makes no difference to the pronunciation, but it is the correct written form)

3 Unfortunately, Cambridge also has the example:
When we were younger, we used not to be allowed to drink coffee.
-> IMO don't use this. I suggest never put anything between 'use(d)' and 'to'. Keep them together, that's safest.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 07:26
English to Chinese
+ ...
Sounds familiar? Dec 3, 2005

I have never been used to discussing in English, though I did use to quote some phrases in English when I wrote in Chinese and tried to make points which could not be made easily in Chinese.

Sure, don't separate "used to". What God brings together cannot be separated by man. Sounds familiar?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Last Hermit
Local time: 07:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Examples from OED - DIDN'T USED to Dec 3, 2005

Examples from OED:
1398 Trevisa Barth. De P.R. xvii. cxvi. (1495) 679 In grounde that is melch and sondy [MS. Bodl. E. Mus. melissche, L. in terra leni sabulosa].  1737 J. Broadhead in N. & Q. 8th Ser. (1895) VII. 405/1 Very fine melch weather.  1874 E. Waugh Chimney Corner (1879) 113 Nice melch mak o' a mornin'.  1647 Trapp Comm. Tit. i. 13 A metaphor from Chyrurgeons, who must not be melch-hearted, saith Celsus, but pare away the dead flesh.  1782 E. N. Blower Geo. Bateman II. 111 Dad, (said the glassman+pulling out his pocket-handkerchief) I didn't used to be so melch-hearted. 
1978 Chicago June 14/3, I didn't used to wear pancake at allit was a macho thing with me. But now I do.
21. With to and inf.: To be accustomed or wont to do something.
   In very frequent use from c 1400, but now only in pa. tense used to, with pronunc. (ju;st tu;, "ju;stU), and colloq. in did (not) use (or used) to: see also usen't, useter; used to could: see can v.1 A. 7.
  
1445 in Anglia XXVIII. 267 Al goddesses+Haue ioyned her dauncys within thi breste, which vsid hem to receive.  1547 Homilies i. Salvation iii. 37 Therfore scripture vseth to saie, that faithe without woorkes dooth iustifie.  1586 J. Chilton in Hakluyt Voy. (1589) 588 Where the ships vse to ride, made fast to ye said wal, with their cables.  1609 Holland Amm. Marcell. 333 What time folkes minds+use to be dull and dead.  1662 Stillingfl. Orig. Sacr i. i. 6 Jewels do not use to lie upon the surface of the earth.  1684 Contempl. St. Man ii. ix. (1699) 231 Temporal Felicity uses often to end in Eternal Misery.  1726 Leoni Designs 5b, In that Season of the Year when the Water uses to be lowest.  1778 Hist. Eliza Warwick I. 260 Alas! his absence+did not use thus to affect me!  1810 Scott Lady of L. i. xxi, Yet seemed that tone+Less used to sue than to command.  1839 F. A. Kemble Resid. in Georgia (1863) 245 It is now+the rule, though it used not to be so formerly.  1857 C. M. Yonge in Monthly Packet Jan. 34 Things didn't use to be so stupid when Ned was there! sobbed Gilbert.  1884 F. M. Crawford Rom. Singer I. 35 They used to be only a baiocco apiece.  1983 Listener 10 Feb. 31 (heading) Adrenalin sports are big. TV didn't used to be one.
 
From OALD:

 


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Last Hermit
Local time: 07:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My apologies Dec 3, 2005

The following is misleading:
Nowadays constructions such as Did you used to live in Beijing? are commonly heard and well accepted. More and more people even accept He did not used to smoke.
 
Amended as follows:
Nowadays constructions such as Did you used to live in Beijing? and He did not used to smoke. are heard sometimes, albeit not generally accepted.
 
Will have corpus-based findings to follow by tomorrow.

[Edited at 2005-12-03 17:16]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

chica nueva
Local time: 11:26
Chinese to English
there is no difference in pronunciation... Dec 3, 2005

Last Hermit wrote:

The following is misleading:
Nowadays constructions such as Did you used to live in Beijing? are commonly heard and well accepted. More and more people even accept He did not used to smoke.
 
Amended as follows:
Nowadays constructions such as Did you used to live in Beijing? and He did not used to smoke. are heard sometimes, albeit not generally accepted.
 
Will have corpus-based findings to follow by tomorrow.

[Edited at 2005-12-03 17:16]


IMO There is no difference in pronunciation between
- Did you use to/did you used to live in Beijing?
- He didn't use to/he didn't used to smoke.
So I can't see how this applies to spoken language...?
As I see it there is no mistake when you hear it because they both sound the same - in both cases the 's' is pronounced 's'.

Is it a pronunciation problem you're referring to Hermit? IMO the 's' in 'use(d) to' should never be pronounced as a 'z'. For one thing that would change the meaning.eg a hammer is used to hammer in nails - then you pronounce it as 'z'..., but not with 'use(d) to',IMO anyway.

-> The difficulty really only occurs when it is written.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Last Hermit
Local time: 07:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Some corpus-based findings Dec 4, 2005

There's no free acess to any gigantic corpus - Internet searches are always something frowned upon. However, we can use this limited one:
http://www.collins.co.uk/Corpus/CorpusSearch.aspx
Corpus Concordance Sampler
The Collins WordbanksOnline English corpus is composed of 56 million words of contemporary written and spoken text. To get a flavour of the type of linguistic data that a corpus like this can provide, you can type in some simple queries here and get a display of concordance lines from the corpus. The query syntax allows you to specify word combinations, wildcards, part-of-speech tags, and so on.


Type in your query:

Which sub-corpora should be searched?

British books, ephemera, radio, newspapers, magazines (36m words)
American books, ephemera and radio (10m words)
British transcribed speech (10m words) 





To get sample concordances, press this button:



To set concordance width (in characters), make a selection:
 
Min: 10 Max: 250




Note that output from this demo facility will be restricted to 40 lines of concordance, each with a maximum width of 250 characters. The lines to be displayed will be selected at random.
===========================
Query by “used to”, we get the following results:3. Later, in the Ross Sea, the MV Gondwana was used to blockade the Maru 3's loading ramp,
think she is helping Emily and Michael to get used to animals. Emily had her on her lap today for
a one-month-on/one-month-off basis. I think it used to be two-man crews Peggy says until a keeper
repackaged and remastered onto only four cds (used to be five). With Hildegard Behrens and Peter
you may remember Night Trap one of the games used to sell their Mega CD system, caused questions
in Beirut. Dani Chamoun, who was fifty-six, used to be a militia leader himself. Our Middle
shop on South End Green," Laura told him. `I used to go there with my friends before I knew
and the noble-born servitors themselves. I used to love to go riding," she remarked one day. `
at a farmhouse on the outskirts of the city. It used to belong [137] to the military but, like most
behaviour and false ideas. Oh lumme. Frank used to be the single reliable source of jokes,
as a guest beardie. [p] First, a confession: I used to have a real beard. At the age of 18 and in
and can eat and socialise there. Profits are used to provide scholarships. [p] All kids can
[p] THE terms `hippy" or `New Age traveller" is used to refer to peace-loving but socially inept
He couldn't do that before because the noise used to bother him and he used to get tired [p] His
of my husband in those days," she said. He used to bring that American woman with him on his
later - to my cost - is that deer can get used to anything, including a feisty, furiously
preserve the love of his mother. A young girl used to dream: [p] I am lying on my bed. I am dead.
countries trying to compensate for the oil Iraq used to provide the world will find themselves
schedules and came here. And so they're not used to having to fight for a place like South
scared. [F0X] Yeah. [F0X] Erm. Actually I did used to do that some times [ZF1] after [ZF0] after
recently from a sort of monstrous scrawl which used to decorate the top of the building erm until
she always used to tell was that when the vet used to come if they were all square with him
[ZF1] th th [ZF0] then it's changed. But we used to go down there for lunch bread and cheese
definitions before [M0X] [ZGY] [F01] cos I used to work on a bilingual [ZGY] [M03] It is a
word. [F01] Would you say it was sad? [F02] We used to say it was sad. Yeah my mum had another
er who was then the industrial designer he used to live very close to where [M01] Mm. [M02] so
here. [F01] Mm. [F02] And they may not even be used to what they can [ZF1] get [ZF0] get away with
my nighties but he did have to wear my pyjamas used to tease him rotten about that. Erm whereas
day. But she'd only be there er odd times. She used to have some awful busy sessions then. [ZF1]
because it was most it was all West Indians who used to join that club. And then of course they
[M02] Well his head used to wiggle [ZF1] as in er [ZF0] as in the old
quite often but I don't go down as much as I used to do [F01] Right [F03] But normally if I'm
that. Erm and we all used to go I mean we all used to have new outfits on every I mean I'm
knows how we feel and she knows Whereas others used to blame try and blame somebody else like
s [ZF0] some of it was gruesome but you got used to it [F01] Yeah [F02] It was upsetting when I
the telephone [M02] [ZF1] You [ZF0] you get th used to get the spelling test didn't you [M01] Mm
the old girl the lady next door is ninety. He used to come over the fence regularly and when she
mean there's [F01] I mean like FX next door she used to work for the council. Lady across the road
Yeah [F01] the summer [M01] Uh huh. Well people used to Talking to older people round here that
know [F02] Mm [M01] some of the fiddles that used to go on [F02] Mm [M01] er whatever [F02] Mm
===========================================
Query by “did+you+used+to”, we get the following results: away humour caught on in the way it did. You used to strain to catch everything he said so as
to bits you [000] know. [M01] What did you used to do on May Day then? [F02] There'd be
been a very very long while ago. [M01] Did you used to to it yourself Irene? [F04] No never. I did
[M01] [tc text=laughs] Now what bit did you used to hate? [M04] Erm everything cross country
money used to go there everyday. [M01] Did you used to go Peter can I ask you? [M03] Yeah
know fill them up [ZGY] [F0X] Well who did you used to bounce? [M01] Well er [ZF1] the thing is
to Barlby. [F01] So what kind of things did you used to do when you were children here? Was there
And that's about it. [F01] [ZGY] Where did you used to live you know like [ZGY] [M01] Now as a
yeah. [M01] Oh yeah. [F01] Mm. So what did you used to play then? What position? [M01] I played in
quickly. [F01] [tc text=laughs] Where did you used to go then. You know before you came here
did MX. [tc text=laughs] [F02] And did you used to have to salt it and what have you? [F01] We
I don't know. [F01] Right. And how did you used to deal with it? [F02] What? The bullying?
ago. [tc text=laughs] [M01] Right so did you used to drive? [F01] Yeah. [M01] Mm. [F01] Yeah
machines like that you know. [M01] Mhm. Did you used to do car repairs? [M02] Er before I was
book name [ZZ0] book. [M01] Right. You Did you used to play with bikes when you were a kid when
were quite okay then. [F02] Mhm. [F01] Did you used to go out in the evenings together with him?
I still stick by him. [F01] And what did you used to say to him when he pinched money out of
They were separated aye. [F01] Yes. Did you used to have them living back with you as soon as
you were at home? [F02] Yeah. [F01] And did you used to have any baby-sitter or did you just used
did see them what kind of relationships did you used to go out in the evenings together or I mean
[tc text=laughs] What sort of things did you used to do then? [F02] We used to go we well we
when we went. [F01] How much holiday did you used to get from work? Oh but you didn't have one
was a good running shop but [M01] Where did you used to erm get the stock from? [M02] Oh from the
a good running shop. But [M01] Where did you used to erm get the stock from? [M02] Oh from the
[ZF1] h [ZF0] have to wear but [F01] Did you used to buy FX's children things from there when
[F01] It worked for us [ZGY] [M01] Mm. Did you used to go with your sister then [F01] No. No I
[ZGY] [F03] [ZGY] [F02] Yeah [F01] Did you used to fight [F0X] Yeah [F0X] Yeah. We did [F03]
right. Tell me about drama then. What did you used to do for drama [F02] Well first you used to
to be honest I haven't [F13] No [F31] Did you used to worm MX [ZGY] often [F13] [tc text=tuts]
the time [F05] Yeah [F01] I mean what did you used to think when you were younger when you saw
to sort of your early shopping Erm did you used to sort of shop with your parents for [ZGY]
so [tc text=pause] [ZGY] a shame [F01] Did you used to do it with the school then [F02] Yeah. They
What about songs and rhymes and things? Did you used to teach them things like that? [ZGY] [F02]
[M01] It's boring [F01] What did you used to write about [F02] Ask MX what he normally
walk [tc text=pause] [M01] How often did you used to do that walk [F01] Oh a lot. A lot. [ZF1]
[F01] Oh right. And what sort of things did you used to make can you remember [F02] Yeah. We made a
playing football [F02] Yeah [F01] What did you used to play in the park and things or What about
Oh really [F02] [ZGY] Yeah [F01] What did you used to have arguments about [F02] Mm. Er
I mean you know when you were at school did you used to compare yourself a lot with the white girls
[F01] So what sort of things do you did you used to have to explain [F02] Well why I have to
=============================================
Query by “did+not+used+to”, the system shows: Look up error. No matches.
=========================================
Query by “did+not+use+to”, the system shows: Look up error. No matches.
=========================================
Query by “didn't+used+to”, the system does not respond.
=========================================
Query by “used+not+to”, the system produces only a 3 scanty results: change and develop and so does the church. It used not to regard slavery as a great evil, but now
used to be called primitive art, and work that used not to be regarded as art at all, such as
[F03] No they have the fitting rooms don't they used not to have those [F02] I suppose my m one
===============================================
These findings show that constructions such as 'did you used to do sth.'  and 'didn't used to do sth.'  are very common.(the system does not respond solely because the apostrophe works behind; it does not even respond to 'didn't', 'doesn't' etc) . But grammar gurus still advise us not to use such constructions.
 
In the corpus-based grammar book Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (by Douglas Biber et al., published in 1999):
CORPUS FINDINGS
Negative forms of used to and ought to are rare in all registers, in both AmE and BrE. The only moderately common form is the auxiliary construction ought NOT to in BrE fiction (occuring c. ten times per million words).
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
Negative construction are generally avoided with used to and ought to. To some extent, alternative forms are used instead:
I don't think you ought to say that. (CONV)
'I don't think they ought to be there.' (FICT)
I never used to say that. (CONV)
By the use of a superordinate clause with think, the speaker is able to avoid using a negative form of ought to (cv. also 3.13.2.3D). Similarly, never used to is used more frequently in conversation than either used not to or didn't used to. Further, the use of do here, especially with ought to, is somewhat stigmatized. (p164-165)
 

Last Hermit wrote:

The following is misleading:
Nowadays constructions such as Did you used to live in Beijing? are commonly heard and well accepted. More and more people even accept He did not used to smoke.
 
Amended as follows:
Nowadays constructions such as Did you used to live in Beijing? and He did not used to smoke. are heard sometimes, albeit not generally accepted.
 
Will have corpus-based findings to follow by tomorrow.

[Edited at 2005-12-03 17:16]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
American vs. English. Feb 27, 2011

[quote]Last Hermit wrote:


Back to high school age, I was told a sentence like 'I did NOT used to like English' was incorrect. Many other peers on board may still hold that belief. But things are changing. English has also changed over these years. Nowadays constructions such as Did you used to live in Beijing? are commonly heard and well accepted. More and more people even accept He did not used to smoke.

This is obviously American English grammar. Sentences like these come from laziness, the proper use of sentence structure would give:
I used to dislike english grammar. - Did you ever live in Beijing? - He never smoked (before...)

And here is something that always makes me smile:
Q. "You got the time?" A. "I do.")

It's as simple as that.

WilliamIV


Direct link Reply with quote
 

wherestip  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
Grammar Feb 27, 2011

I think there's a bit of confusion here.


Did you touch my computer?
No, I didn't touch your computer. (or) No, I never touched your computer.
Yes, I touched your computer.


Similarly,


Did you use to smoke?
No, I didn't use to smoke. (or) No, I used not to smoke. (or) No, I never used to smoke.
Yes, I used to smoke.


Of course in real-life situations, most people would likely respond in an abbreviated form, e.g., "Yes, I did", "No, I didn't".



[Edited at 2011-02-27 18:48 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

wherestip  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
FWIW Feb 27, 2011

Here's a short lesson on the difference between the usage of "used to" and "would" ...

http://www.learnenglish.de/grammar/usedtotext.htm



'Used to' or 'use to' vs would

...

If you want to talk about repeated states or habits in the past, you must use used to, you cannot use would : :

My dog used to bark at cats.
I used to smoke.
I used to be an administrative assistant.
I used to live in England.

You should use 'use to' without a d in sentences when it follows 'did' or 'didn't' (don't worry too much about this because lots of people get it wrong).

The question form is ‘Did you use to…?'. When asking a closed question you put did/didn't in front of the subject followed by use to, you cannot use would.

Did you use to go out with my sister?
Did they use to own the company?
Didn't we use to go to the same school?
Also when asking questions about states in the past you cannot use would.

What sort of things did you use to like when you were young?
. In the negative you cannot use would without a change in meaning.

I didn't use to play with my dolls.
If I said I wouldn't play with my dolls. It would mean I refused to play with my dolls.

We didn't use to go out much in the winter months.
If I said we wouldn't go out much. It would mean we refused to go out much.

!Note - The general rule is when there is did or didn't in the sentence, we say use to (without d) when there is no did or didn't in the sentence, we say used to (with d).

There is also a difference between "used to do something and to be used to something".




As one can clearly see, the lesson also accurately points out that following the words "did" or "didn't", use of the past tense "used to" in a sentence is incorrect; the correct usage should be "use to".



[Edited at 2011-02-28 15:45 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
ysun  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:26
English to Chinese
+ ...
did not USE to vs. used NOT to Mar 1, 2011

IMO, both did not USE to and used NOT to are correct.

http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/used-to
did not use to do something
You didn't use to eat chips when you were younger.

used not to do something British English
You used not to fuss like this.
...

In formal British English you can also say used not to
Buses used not to stop here.

However, either “Did you used to live in Beijing?” or “He did not used to smoke” is incorrect.
Last Hermit wrote:

Amended as follows:
Nowadays constructions such as Did you used to live in Beijing? and He did not used to smoke. are heard sometimes, albeit not generally accepted.
[Edited at 2005-12-03 17:16]




[Edited at 2011-03-01 00:24 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

wherestip  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
Correct Usage Mar 1, 2011

ysun wrote:

IMO, both did not USE to and used NOT to are correct.

http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/used-to



Yueyin,

Thanks for the Longman online dictionary page that addresses the correct usage of this modal verb.

IMO, the issue is pretty much put to bed when both the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary and the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English state the same thing.


The following is a cut-and-paste from the grammar section at the bottom of the page of the link you provided ...



GRAMMAR
...

In questions, say didsomeone use to...?
• Did he use to fight with his brother?
In negatives, say didn't/did not use to ...
• He didn't use to smoke.
You can also say never used to
• They never used to ask where I'd been.
In formal British English you can also say used not to
• Buses used not to stop here.



Direct link Reply with quote
 
ysun  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:26
English to Chinese
+ ...
Yes, I agree Mar 1, 2011

wherestip wrote:

IMO, the issue is pretty much put to bed when both the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary and the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English state the same thing.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bonaparte  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
Member (2008)
French to English
"Did / Did not" is most Non-U! Oct 12, 2012

The used construction is not a verb itself. It is an indication of continuous action in the past which qualifies a verb - a past continuous form as opposed to present continuous.

Eg

Did you hit the dog? A one off event in the past.

Used you to hit the dog? A continuous action in the past.

Yes I hit the dog. Confirmation of one off past event.

Yes I used to hit the dog. Confirmation of continuous past actions.

No I did not / didn't hit the dog. Negative statement of one off past action.

No I used not / usen't to hit the dog. Negative statement of past continuous action.


"Did use to hit / did not use to hit / didn't use to hit" are IMO (and more importantly in my mother's opinion) extremely NON-U and are another unpleasant reduction in standards of English.

The "did" construction is also very non-euphonic.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Bits and Pieces of English Grammar & Usage: DID NOT used to vs.used NOT to

Advanced search






LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs