Correct use?

5 replies
Anonymous:
I am wondering if the following sentence is grammatically correct: They don't used to go to school.
No, it's not correct. It should be:

They didn't used to go to school.
Veteran Member21,423
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Anonymous:
Would you be able to explain why it is not correct. I am having a hard time with this? Thank you
AnonymousWould you be able to explain why it is not correct. I am having a hard time with this? Thank you
You are describing something that happened in the past, on a regular basis.
For example:

We went to the movies every weekend.
We used to go to the movies every weekend.

We wore our best clothes to church on Sunday.
We used to wear our best clothes to church on Sunday.

Note that the verb must be in the past, because it all happened some time ago.

Now, when we ask a question, or state the negative, we have to use the helping verb "do."

Do you go to church now?
Yes, I do.

Do you go to the movies now?
No, I don't go the the movies now.

The past of do is did. So when we ask about something in the past time, or a negative in the past time, we have to use the past of do - that is did. Note that the main verb is in the base form, not the past. The past time is indicated by the helping verb,

Did you wear you best dress to the party?
Yes I did.

Why didn't you go to school yesterday?
I didn't go because I was sick with the flu.

So, we use did, didn't when asking about "used to," because that is all past time. Note that "used to" is an expression that does not change.

Mary and I used to go swimming.

Did you used to go swimming even in the winter?
Didn't you used to walk to school every day?
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AnonymousI am wondering if the following sentence is grammatically correct: They don't used to go to school.
For your sentence, the helping word "didn't" already took care of the past tense, therefore, the base form of the verb "use" should be the correct form.
I used to live near a park.
I used to get up 6 in the morning and jog for 30 minutes beofre going to school.
Didn't you use to go to the same hight school as my sister?
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