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Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

used to, never used to, used not to, didn’t use to

Used to plus a verb expresses previous habits or customs.

  • Camilla used to ride her bicycle to work until she crashed into a tree.

In writing, the negative forms include never used to and used not to.

  • The Tourist Office never used to be open on Sundays in the winter.
  • The Tourist Office used not to be open on Sundays in the winter.

In speech, Canadians and Americans prefer didn’t use to, while in Britain didn’t used to is common.

  • Informal usage: The Tourist Office didn’t use to be open.

A question is structured Did … use (or used) to?

  • Did the traffic use to be heavier on this road?