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Thread: used-to-be

  1. #1
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default used-to-be

    Hi Teachers

    While watching an American movie on TV , I`ve heard the following sentence :

    My used-to-be friends ... .

    1] Is it correctly written?
    2] I understand that "used-to-be" means "former" friends who are no longer my friends. Is this interpretation correct?
    3] Is it common in British English? What is the word or phrase I can replace it with?

    Thank you very much in advance

    All the best

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    Default Re: used-to-be

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Hi Teachers
    While watching an American movie on TV , I`ve heard the following sentence :
    My used-to-be friends ... .
    1] Is it correctly written?
    2] I understand that "used-to-be" means "former" friends who are no longer my friends. Is this interpretation correct?
    3] Is it common in British English? What is the word or phrase I can replace it with?
    Thank you very much in advance
    All the best
    Your interpretation is correct. It's not UNcommon to use a compound adjective or noun of this sort, but it does have an unusual sound, and is often associated with poetic or wry usage. For example, in the Barbra Streisand song "You don't bring me flowers":

    "It used to be so natural to talk about forever
    But used-to-be's don't count anymore
    They just lay on the floor, till we sweep them away..."

    I would say it's more common in American English, but you might hear it in British English. As you pointed out, 'my former friends' is the more orthodox way of saying it.

  3. #3
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: used-to-be

    Hi Coffa

    Thank you very much for clarifying that

    Best wishes

    Teia

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