0

“used to“ implies habitual actions is the past that is not valid now. How about questions “did you use to...?” Could we ask such questions when we want to learn about habits in the past BUT we aren't sure whether those habits are still valid now or not?

1

You are correct that saying that or asking whether someone "used to" do something implies that the action took place in the past and does not still continue.

If you asked me, "Did you used to work with XYZ?" and I still did, my response would say as much: "Yes, and I still do."

If you want to ask without that implication, use present perfect tense: "Have you worked with XYZ?"

  • Did you always conjugated both the auxiliary verb and the main verb? Did you use to is perfectly fine English spelling (although lots of people write did you used to.) – Peter Shor May 19 at 18:17
  • @PeterShor Interesting. I've always seen "used to" as an idiomatic phrase without any conjugation whatsoever (and I'm not the only one). The written construction is so informal to begin with, and the verbal differences so slight, that this is the first time I've seen anything to the contrary. – geekahedron May 19 at 18:51
  • "Did not used to" is the more commonly used construction since 1975, according to N-Grams (and that's just in books). Similarly, "Did you used to" is more common than "Did you use to" (case-sensitive, to avoid constructions like "what did you use to fix it" etc.). – geekahedron May 20 at 13:43
  • Okay. I don't have a real objection to the spelling didn't used to (although I don't use it). I was mainly objecting to your claim that didn't used to was the only way to spell it, which you've now removed from your answer. – Peter Shor May 20 at 15:21
0

It's also a trick question by implying that a person once did or still does such as "Do you still beat your wife"... the question being that you once did and inferring that you still do. No matter how you answer it with a yes or no. You've just labeled yourself as a wife beater. The proper question would be; "Have you ever..."

  • 1
    My example is the following: "Did you use to work with XYZ?" I want to use "Did you use to ..." to make focus on longer cooperation ( I am not interested in 1 transaction) Can I ask such question when I don't know if they still work with that supplier? – Leo May 19 at 12:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.