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    #1

    didn't used to and didn't used to have been

    In the following forum grammar - Is "Didn't used to have been" a valid structure? - English Language and Usage people are debating whether it's totally wrong to say things mentioned in the title.

    Where would you stand on this one?
    Last edited by ostap77; 22-Aug-2012 at 20:17. Reason: a typo

  1. I'm With Stupid's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: didn't used to and didn't used to have been

    Didn't used to have been? No, it's a complete mess.

    Firstly, it should be "didn't use to."

    Secondly, "have been" refers to your experiences, such as "I have been to Paris."

    "Used to" or "didn't use to" refers to a specific period in the past. "I used to be a chef;" "That supermarket didn't use to be here."

    The two structures are used for two different and incompatible meanings. You can't have an experience that only applied in the past, since experiences last forever.

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    #3

    Re: didn't used to and didn't used to have been

    If you refer to the following link Learning English | BBC World Service ,you're going to see that "didn't used to" and "didn't use to" are possible. Would you be still saying that "didn't used to" is incorrect?
    Last edited by ostap77; 22-Aug-2012 at 20:30.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: didn't used to and didn't used to have been

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    If you refer to the following link Learning English | BBC World Service ,you're going to see that "didn't used to" and "didn't use to" are possible. Would the author be saying a complete mess too?
    Yes, in my opinion, he is wrong.

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    #5

    Re: didn't used to and didn't used to have been

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    If you refer to the following link Learning English | BBC World Service ,you're going to see that "didn't used to" and "didn't use to" are possible. Would the author be saying a complete mess too?
    Don't ask for our opinions and then produce another opinion with the suggestion that ours are wrong.

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    #6

    Re: didn't used to and didn't used to have been

    I'm getting fed up with you testing us in this way, ostap.

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    #7

    Re: didn't used to and didn't used to have been

    It's fairly simple. "Use to" and "used to" sound exactly the same, so it's a common mistake to write it as "didn't used to." So basically you're asking a philosophical question as to when a common mistake becomes accepted English.

    But that doesn't change the fact that there's not a single native speaker in the world that would use the phrase "didn't used to have been." In fact Google it, and the first result that comes up is the page you linked to and the second result is this page.

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    #8

    Re: didn't used to and didn't used to have been

    You're right about "didn't used to have been". I've searched for examples of "didn't used to" on COCAE . It gives 126 examples.

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    #9

    Re: didn't used to and didn't used to have been

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I'm getting fed up with you testing us in this way, ostap.
    That's one reason I rarely respond in ostap's threads these days.

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    #10

    Re: didn't used to and didn't used to have been

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    If you refer to the following link Learning English | BBC World Service ,you're going to see that "didn't used to" and "didn't use to" are possible. Would you be still saying that "didn't used to" is incorrect?
    But even Roger Woodham admits that "didn't used to" is less common than "didn't use to".

    For questions and negative forms, two forms of the verb are used - either the normal infinitive pattern after did (more common), or the past form used (less common).

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