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  1. #1
    Odessa Dawn is offline Key Member
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    "didnt use" and "used not√"



    Q. They didnt use to allow such goings-on here.
    A. didnt use used not√. Inelegant form of verb used, though the expression (didnt use) is frequently used by inelegant speakers.

    Inelegant speakers must make up over 90% of the population, then. used not sounds odd these days to most people.
    More: Gramorak's Blog | A haven for grammar bunnies

    I havent understood what has been mentioned in the above text thus far because I am not familiar with the word "
    inelegant" although I have checked the dictionary. As a result, according to the above explanation, what is the difference between the following pairs, please?

    I didnt use to smoke.

    I used not to smoke.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "didnt use" and "used not√"

    Do you know the word "elegant"?

    I'm not sure why this author calls this formation "inelegant." As he notes, the "inelegant" formation is the commonly used one.

    I would never say "I used not to..."

    Maybe it's different in BrE.

  3. #3
    Odessa Dawn is offline Key Member
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    Re: "didnt use" and "used not√"



    Happy New Year, Dave!

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Do you know the word "elegant"?
    inelegant

    adjective clumsy, awkward, ungainly, rough, crude, coarse, crass, gauche, uncouth, unrefined, clunky (informal), graceless, uncultivated, unpolished, indelicate, ungraceful
    More: inelegant - definition of inelegant by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    We have multiple synonyms, I couldnt pick up the appropriate one. However, I would use either awkward or clunky.



  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "didnt use" and "used not√"

    I would go more with "unrefined, unpolished, graceless."

  5. #5
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "didnt use" and "used not√"

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I'm not sure why this author calls this formation "inelegant." As he notes, the "inelegant" formation is the commonly used one.
    It was not I (as gramorak) who called this structure inelegant. It was the writer I was criticising.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: "didnt use" and "used not√"

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post
    I haven’t understood what has been mentioned in the above text thus far because I am not familiar with the word "inelegant" although I have checked the dictionary.
    Ooooh, get along with you.

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