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Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

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?