‘Used to’ vs ‘Didn’t use to’

1. ‘Used to’ vs. ‘didn’t use to’

‘Used to’ is used for things that true in the past but aren’t true now.

‘Didn’t use to’ are used for things that weren’t true in the past but are true now.

*Note 1: ‘used’ changes to ‘use’ when with ‘didn’t’. This is because ‘didn’t’ is the past tense, and only one past tense is needed.

PastNowStructureExample sentence
yesnoused toNanjing used to be the capital of China.
yesnoused toHerb and Hailey used to be married.
yesnoused toAs children we used to play in rain until our parents told us to come inside.
noyesdidn’t use toWe didn’t use to be friends, but now we are OK.
noyesdidn’t use toThis company didn’t use to give the staff a Christmas holiday.
noyesdidn’t use toAlaska didn’t use to be part of the US.

2. Examples

Used toDidn’t use to
I used to play football a lot when I was a kid, but I haven’t played for a long time.She didn’t use to be so fat.
He used to like her a lot, but not so much now.I didn’t use to like chemistry very much, but since the teacher changed I quite like it.
They used to be married. I think they got divorced three years ago.The company didn’t use to be so kind to its workers.
This city used to be a quiet, peaceful little village. Now it is a hige sprwaling city.People didn’t use to worry about drinking too much.

3. Exercises

How have these things changed:
(i) your life?
(ii) the place in which you live?
(iii) your likes and dislikes?