Thursday, October 04, 2007

I didn't used to have this question....

OK British grammar's a pressing ESL question.

One of the grammar texts I am using with quite advanced students states that you can use these phrases, and others like them quite correctly.

I didn't used to like carrots.

Did you used to swim every day?

Now in N.Am, the only folks who use this kind of phrasing live far back in the Ozarks and haven't seen education beyond the third grade for several generations. They haven't been employed as long as anyone can remember and their uncle ain't neither...get my drift?

Well, this book was published in Oxford UK in 2003, making me wonder if these grammatical structures have a totally different implication on this side of the pond.

Please let me know, m'kay?


Helen said...

The carrot one I would use, and structures similar to it, the other one I wouldn't and it comes across as awkward. That said I do think they are unnecessarily complicated grammatical structures and you can say the same thing much more easily and without getting yourself entangled in a cats cradle of verb tenses. They are much more formal and less colloquial than normal speech, so I wouldn't recommend them to a learner.

oreneta said...

That is fascinating....I wonder how it worked out that the same grammar structure which is very formal for you, in N. Am death in a job interview. Really, it is the WORST sort of grammar. You'd be better off using ain't or swearing.