I did used to go to Harvard [emphatic 'did' with 'used to']

HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
I've just read all the threads concerning 'did and used to' in the interrogative and negative.

Well, how about the emphatic 'did' with 'used to'?

A: Harvard and this simple subtraction mistake? No way!
B: You don't believe me? I DID used to go to Harvard.

Hiro
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    That sounds wrong to me, though I think you might hear it in certain dialects.

    The grammatical sentence would be: I did use to go to Harvard, but that's still inappropriate for that context. In that context, I'd expect: I did go to Harvard.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Barque, now you've made me more interested. Let's expand it: 'I DID used to go to Harvard' and 'I DID use to go to Harvard.' One or the other, are they used?
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    The main problem is the use of two auxiliary verbs "to do" and "use to"
    Let's expand it: 'I DID used to go to Harvard' and 'I DID use to go to Harvard.'
    I don't see much point in expanding it - it would be more use to give some context.

    A: "I was a delivery driver too! I really enjoyed it. Once a month, I went to Harvard and they always gave me a meal there. Of course, when you were a delivery driver, you never went there, so you missed out."
    B: 'I DID used to go to Harvard - not as often as you, but I did go."

    However, this is colloquial and treats "used to go to Harvard" as a single semantic unit that repeats A's main point.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Let's expand it: 'I DID used to go to Harvard' and 'I DID use to go to Harvard.' One or the other, are they used?
    The phrase "I did used to" isn't grammatical in my opinion because of the combination of "did" and "used", though you might hear it used by some people, as I said.
    "I did use to" suggests someone challenged your statement that you used to do something, and you repeated it with the addition of "did" to insist that it's true.

    You normally use "used to" in respect of something you did regularly, that you've now stopped doing, and that you could have continued doing. Going to a university isn't something one might do habitually for an extended period in one's life, as opposed to, for example, drinking beer, so "I used to go to [name of university]" is a sentence that's used only in some contexts.

    I used to be a student at Harvard but I transferred to Yale last year.:tick: (Implies you're still a student.)
    I went to Harvard in the 60s.:tick:
    I used to go to Harvard in the 60s.:cross:
    (Grammatical but I don't find it natural.)
    I used to drink beer.:tick: (Implies that you don't now.)
    I used to drink beer, but now I drink wine.:tick:

    Cross-posted.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    I read that for the negative too. Seems like it would be okay to insert the emphatic DID. Thanks.
     
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