Excuse me, I heard these two sentences from an English teacher. But I do not know what do they mean and even if they are grammatically correct. Would you please help me to find out if they are correct?

What did you do used to do when you where a child?

How long can you studied English?

closed as off-topic by JJJ, Edwin Ashworth, FumbleFingers, MetaEd Jun 29 '18 at 21:08

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    Your first do is completely invalid, unless you delete following used to. Note that so far as I'm concerned nobody knows (or at least there's no universal agreement) whether it should be What did you used to do back then? or What did you use to do? Not that this distinction is likely to be relevant in spoken contexts, since for nearly everyone the difference would be indiscernible by ear / mouth. – FumbleFingers Jun 29 '18 at 15:49

Saying "What did you do used to do when you where a child?" sounds incorrect grammatically.

It contains following errors:

  1. Repititive in using the verb "do".
  2. Using -d in "Used to" even after "did" [if you write it in written exams, it's incorrect].
  3. Use of unsuitable word "where" rather than using "were".

Instead say: What did you use to do when you were a child? [don't write "did you used to" in written exams, though it's acceptable in other cases].

Your second sentence is also wrong. We can't say "How long can you studied English?" because it's incorrect to use past form of the verb "study" [as studied] before we use auxiliary verb "can".

It will be correct to say:

  1. How long can you study English?


  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/past/used-to
  • Unless one is discussing a particular course at school or college, your last sentence doesn't make a lot of sense, as in for example, someone discussing language with another. – Tim Jun 29 '18 at 14:29

What did you do when you were a child? Is the simplest form. Possibly 'What did you used to do when you were a child?' is acceptable.

'Where' isn't the correct spelling, and the first 'do' is out of place.

'How long have you studied English?' is the only translation that makes sense. How long can you is pretty meaningless.

  • 1
    How saying "How long can you" is pretty meaningless? – Ahmed Jun 29 '18 at 14:29
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    Thanks for the knee jerk downvote. 'Can' means being able to. Unless (as in my comment) the conversation is about a course, I really can't come up with what a reasonable response to the question 'How long can you study English' might be. I'm still studying it after many decades! – Tim Jun 29 '18 at 14:34
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    Doesn't it ask someone's ability in "How tlong can you study English?"? – Ahmed Jun 29 '18 at 15:14
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    Don't see how that question could be answered. Would one consider to be perfectly fluent and in total control after an absolute amount of time? Or be capable of predicting how long that may take? Doubtful. – Tim Jun 29 '18 at 15:19

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