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    #1

    Difference between 'use' and 'used'

    I am presently teaching English to Spanish people. I hold a TEFL cert. However i have come across a problem which i seem to be unable to answer in books/research etc. It is the use of 'use' and 'used' as i understand it used/used to, is always used for past tense. i.e. I used to smoke, he used this yesterday, or I used to play football. The word 'use' is for doing somthing i.e. I am going to use a saw, or its used to describe somthing/someone, for example, this hammer is no use.

    In my students books, Essential Grammer in use, by Raymond Murphy, there are phrases like, 'When i was a child i didn't use to like tomatoes' 'Where did you use to live before you came here'

    I am a new teacher, and need to learn, but is it wrong to say, 'When i was a child i didn't USED to like tomatoes' or 'Where did you USED to live before you came here'

    I cannot find anywhere an explanation/definition for the difference between to uses.

    I hope someone can help.

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    #2

    Re: Difference between 'use' and 'used'

    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel421 View Post
    I am presently teaching English to Spanish people. I hold a TEFL cert. However i have come across a problem which i seem to be unable to answer in books/research etc. It is the use of 'use' and 'used' as i understand it used/used to, is always used for past tense. i.e. I used to smoke, he used this yesterday, or I used to play football. The word 'use' is for doing somthing i.e. I am going to use a saw, or its used to describe somthing/someone, for example, this hammer is no use.

    In my students books, Essential Grammer in use, by Raymond Murphy, there are phrases like, 'When i was a child i didn't use to like tomatoes' 'Where did you use to live before you came here'

    I am a new teacher, and need to learn, but is it wrong to say, 'When i was a child i didn't USED to like tomatoes' or 'Where did you USED to live before you came here'

    I cannot find anywhere an explanation/definition for the difference between to uses.

    I hope someone can help.
    "Did you used to" and "I didn't used to" are incorrect. "Did you use to" and "I didn't use to" are correct. This rule may not represent the actual usage, but would say it's safer to stick to it.

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    #3

    Re: Difference between 'use' and 'used'

    Ok thankyou, but why? are there any rules/definitions i can read to help me as i need to explain to my students, and to do that i need to understand it.

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    #4

    Re: Difference between 'use' and 'used'

    Please capitalize the word "I".

    "Used" in "I used to..." is historically a past tense form of "use". Some time ago you could say, "I use to drink wine," in the present tense, where "use" was a completely regular verb. Therefore, sentences like

    I don't use to drink wine.
    I didn't use to drink wine.
    I used to drink wine.
    Do you use to drink wine?
    Did you use to drink wine?


    were all variations of the same sentence and were all correct. We now use only the past ones.

    This use of "use" is no longer in use, but it used to be.

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    #5

    Re: Difference between 'use' and 'used'

    The formal rules used to be that the 'correct' forms were: I used to, I used not to, used you to? There are still some people who use these forms, but not many.

    I didn't use to and did you use to? are probably the safest forms, though people who use the traditionally 'correct' forms object to them on the grounds that used to is a modal (despite the to) and therefore does not form interrogatives and negatives with the auxiliary DO,

    There is no justification at all for I didnt used to and did you used to? , though you will see them in print. It's difficult to say whether or not you hear them, because they are pronounced in the same way as I didn't use to and did you use to?

    Follow BC's advice: "Did you use to" and "I didn't use to" are correct. This rule may not represent the actual usage, but I would say it's safer to stick to it.

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