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  1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    didn't use to OR didn't used to?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 3, 2015.

    He didn't use to / used to like spinach.

    Is "use to" or "used to" grammatically correct?

    Thanks,

    The Seed
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    "used to" = accustomed to
    "use to" = thing that was done in the past, but no longer is done.

    He didn't use to like spinach, but it seems he grew used to the flavor.
     
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  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I hate to challenge your language knowledge, @Wreybies, it is by far superior to mine, but I don't think you're right here. "Use to" is not a phrase I've seen anywhere except in slang where 'used to' would have been correct.

    I'll accept your knowledge if you show me a reason to.
     
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  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The correct form is "used to" unless you're dealing with negatives. Since you're dealing with a negative here, "didn't use to like spinach" is correct. Wreybies is right about this. I think there's a section about this somewhere in the CMoS, though I could be wrong.
     
  6. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    "used to" = accustomed to

    "use to" = thing that was done in the past, but no longer is done.
    ------------

    He used to work out.
    (At one point in the past he did this.)

    He used to like spinach.
    (Same logic as above parenthetical.)

    So in these two sentences should we use "use to"?

    Sorry but confused.
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No. Not for these new examples. Only when structured as in your original, in the negative. Though these two new examples do conjure the feeling of uncertainty as whether the prior conditions are still true, they are not in fact negatives.
     
  8. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    Like the word "much," "use to" should only be used in negative an question forms. Otherwise the correct form is "used to."

    If it means "accustomed to," then it is "used to doing."

    I'm used to doing it this way.

    If it is in the past, something that once happened a lot but doesn't happen anymore, it is "used to do."

    I used to go there a lot.

    So this sentence is correct (IMO) but not for the reasons @Wreybies listed.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Ok, ok. I could have been more clear than I was.... Jinkies. I did clarify afterwards. :whistle:
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    OK, the tense issue and preceding negative makes sense.
     
  11. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    I thought the gerund/infinite distinction was also worth making. I wasn't just trying to have a go at @Wreybies. ;)
     
  12. AlcoholicWolf
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    AlcoholicWolf Contributing Member

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    "Never used to like Spinach" is grammatically correct.

    "Didn't" is colloquial and doesn't fit in a standardised sentence.

    "I did not use to like spinach"
    "I did not used to like spinach"

    Neither of these work for me, but it depends on your dialect.
     

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