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used to, never used to, used not to, didn’t use to

Filed under: Extra — anlactunay @ 4:05 PM

used to plus a verb expresses previous habits or customs. In writing, the negative forms include NEVER USED TO and USED NOT TO. In speech, Canadians and Americans prefer DIDN’T USE TO, while in Britain DIDN’T USED TO is common. A question is structured DID YOU USE (or used) TO?

Camilla USED TO ride her bicycle to work until she crashed into a tree.
The Tourist Office NEVER USED TO be open on Sundays in the winter.
The Tourist Office USED NOT TO be open on Sundays in the winter.
Informal usage:
The Tourist Office DIDN’T USE TO be open . . .
DID the traffic USE TO be heavier on this road?


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