View Full Version : Use/Used

02-02-2008, 11:36 PM
Ok, which one do you use when you say something like I *was* skinny?
I used to be skinny.
I use to be skinny.

This has been driving me nuts for a while, and I'm pretty anal about these kinds of things (not that I have perfect grammar by any means) but I like to do things correctly if I can.


02-02-2008, 11:54 PM
It is only correct to spell it "I used to be skinny."

People get confused because when you say it aloud, the "d" on used and the "t" on to run together.

02-03-2008, 01:12 AM
when you make it a question does it become

"did you use to be skinny?"

or still

"did you used to be skinny?"

thanks! :)

Ginger's Mom
02-03-2008, 06:13 AM
I have another question. How did "used" come to be used like that? If that made sense. Of what word is it a past tense? I mean, I use it all of the time, but I was wondering how it came to be a proper word.

Maya & Inka's mommy
02-03-2008, 07:45 AM
My English isn't that correct either; but I am very sure that "I used to be skinny" is the only correct spelling :)

02-03-2008, 07:54 AM
I have another question. How did "used" come to be used like that?
My thoughts exactly. I think it makes more sense to say "I was" rather than "I used to be". The latter just doesn't sound right.

02-03-2008, 08:14 AM
Use is present tense. Used is past. So in your question, if I WAS skinnier, then I would "use" used. Technically the proper form of the statement would be "I once was skinny" :D :p ;)

BTW, I can never say I was ever skinny. :p

02-03-2008, 02:03 PM
I was just going to say it sounds better, or more grammatically correct, if you say "I had been skinny/thin." or "I was once skinny/thin."

02-03-2008, 02:12 PM
I often say "used" than "was"..

02-03-2008, 02:45 PM
Posted by Vinjashira:
when you make it a question does it become

"did you use to be skinny?"

or still

"did you used to be skinny?"


It's the second one - "did you used" - but both are improper grammar.

"Were you ever skinny?" is good - but watch the tone of voice. "Were you EVER skinny?" could be an insult! Also, "Were you EVER SKINNY!" could be good - especially if someone is recovering from an eating disorder.

Another way: "Have you always been skinny?" Less risk involved! LOL

Ginger's Mom
02-03-2008, 04:17 PM
Actually, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, even in the present tense the correct word would be "used." For example: I am getting used to this new computer; or, I am not used to this cold weather. I am still not exactly sure how it came into use, but it appears to be from the Middle English. It is very odd, and I agree with everyone that says it just sounds wrong. However, having said that I will admit to using the term when I am too tired or lazy to form what may be a more grammatically correct sentence. (Similarly, I will end a sentence with a preposition when I don't feel like working at making a proper sentence.)

02-03-2008, 10:26 PM
Well then, I've been using it correctly. Although, I think sometimes I've put use instead of used. Oh well. Most of the time I say used. For some reason I use that phrase frequently. I think I am going to have to start using different phrases. LOL!
Thanks everyone for your input.
(reading all these posts...now the word use(d) just sounds weird)

smokey the elder
02-04-2008, 08:08 AM
A lot of things in English are odd if you think about them too much. :p Makes it a nightmare for our expat friends from around the world!

Edwina's Secretary
02-04-2008, 09:32 AM
I remeber freezing on a exam in junior high school (and that was a long time ago!) because I could not figure out how to spell "used". Ever since, I try and avoid it altogether!

02-04-2008, 01:08 PM
(I'm answering without reading any of the other repliess so not to be infulienced.)

I always say "used to"