I am looking at the Cambridge Grammar of English as a reference.- Carter McCarthy

For 'used to' in affermatives - 'She used to do ballet'

For negatives - didn't use to : or didn't used to - This I understand as 'use' is now the second verb and so does not have the past tense 'd'. Although I don't understand why the alternative with 'd' is also given and the examples in the book use 'used to'. My teacher tells me it is 'use to' here.

However for questions the Cambridge has only 'used to' although my teacher gives me exapmples with 'use to' as again it is the second verb.

Did you use to go to school by bus? - for example

Can someone please explain this to me please? - Do I need a new grammar book or a new teacher? or are they both in some way right?

Thank you
SiernanI don't understand why the alternative with 'd' is also given
That alternative is given because so many people use it that way. It is a description of what people use, not a guide (or prescription) for what you should use.

In other words, you may think of the alternative with 'd' as "wrong" if you wish, but it has been used that way so often by so many people that it is now listed in the dictionary. "ain't" is in most dictionaries, too.

The conflict of opinions is due to the fact that some speakers see 'use' as an auxiliary verb and others see it as a lexical verb. It all depends on whether you can say 'Used you to live near there?' and 'It usen't to be allowed'. If you dislike those, as I do, then stick to the lexical verb choice. 'Use' is highly defective: it has no present tense, no gerund or present participle and no past participle. 'Used' is a past tense form.

The normal rule is that the past form 'used' in affirmative contexts, and the base form 'use' (no 'd') is used in constructions with the auxiliary 'do' for negatives and questions:

'He used to like it' ~ He didn't use to like it. ~ Did he use to live alone?


ps. an 'auxiliary verb' is what you call a 'second verb'.
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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thank you BillJ and CalifJim

Thanks also for the note about auxiliary vebs.

I understand that 'use to' in questions and negatives is good and so is 'used to' now because people use it so often. It is good to be studying a language that is so alive and moves so much. It is also difficult to get hold of.

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