there didn't use to be

par

Member
Spain Spanish
Hello everyone
is it correct to use the expression there didn't use to be. I think that grammatically it is correct but I've seen There didn't used to be, is it possible??
Is there any other expressions more common in English?

thank you!!
 
  • audeman

    New Member
    UK English
    "there didn't use to be"

    No, that would not be correct.

    It would be "
    There didn't used to be"

    "There used to be..." means that there once was but there isn't any more.

    For example: "There used to be a shop on the corner selling sweets, now it sells computer games."

    Hope that helps!
    Marcus

     

    par

    Member
    Spain Spanish
    thank you!! It helps me a lot but I don't understand why the verb used is in the past tense if it is marked with the auxiliary verb did.
    For example, in the sentence I didn't like that film like is in the infinitive form because the auxiliary verb is in the past (did), so I don't know why used is still in the past tense.
    Thanks in advance
     

    Jeromed

    Banned
    USA, English
    thank you!! It helps me a lot but I don't understand why the verb used is in the past tense if it is marked with the auxiliary verb did.
    In the USA, it would be incorrect to write the verb in the past tense. Only the auxiliary is inflected.
     

    par

    Member
    Spain Spanish
    ok, I see...
    so in British English the expression there didn't use to be is the correct one, isn't it.

    Thank you
     

    Jeromed

    Banned
    USA, English
    ok, I see...
    so in British English the expression there didn't use to be is the correct one, isn't it.

    Thank you

    I have no idea. Audeman is stating the opposite, but let's see if other Britons confirm what he says.
    The BBC definitely agrees with the American usage: No D at the end of USE.
     

    paper

    Member
    Uk English
    I agree with Jeromed and the BBC. It's not an American/British thing, the use of "used" instead of "use" in that sentence is simply incorrect, although it's quite a common error made by native speakers, probably because in conversational English "use to" and "used to" sound almost indistinguishable.
     

    Jeromed

    Banned
    USA, English
    I agree with Jeromed and the BBC. It's not an American/British thing, the use of "used" instead of "use" in that sentence is simply incorrect, although it's quite a common error made by native speakers, probably because in conversational English "use to" and "used to" sound almost indistinguishable.

    :thumbsup:
     

    Alisterio

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I agree with paper, when the auxiliary verb ("didn't") is in the past tense, the main verb ("use to") stays in the infinitive. So,

    "There used to be a different currency in each of the countries of the EU."
    but
    "There didn't use to be a currency called the euro."

    After all, you would never say "I used to lived in Scotland", with both verbs in the past...
     
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