use to vs USED to pronounciation.

Hi there!
I was told that the pronounciation of the “use to” (did you use to have long hair?) in questions and the “used to” in sentences (I used to have long hair) are exactly the same. Is that correct?

For me, not sure about it, the useD to in senteces has to be stressed because of the D and the end of it. Well, I’d like to know what’s going on here…


Yes, the pronunciations are the same. In fact, it is the spellings that are arbitrary. Most grammar books include ‘Did you used to have…?’ as an alternative.

I’m rather surprised that Mister Micawber considers the pronunciations the same. No doubt, in casual conversation, “used to” is often phonetically simplified by dropping the /d/: many speakers don’t want to bother switching from the voiced to the voiceless alveolar stop with an onerous open juncture. I, for one, pronounce the /d/.

It’s easy to overlook an entry in a grammar book, but I don’t see “did you used to have” sanctioned in my Curme or Quirk and Greenbaum.

It is included under section 3.44 of Quirk, Greenbaum, et al. It is merely a spelling variation. No native speaker pronounces the /d/ in any construction.

Hi Jlupine,

Your comment -

surprises me equally. It must sound very odd! Maybe we could hear you saying it if you record a message.


PS Maybe you could also pronounce the name you have given yourself

My “A University Grammar of English” is a shortened version of “A Grammar of Contemporary English”. Section 3.44 is “Future time in the past”, so I’ll have to make a trip to the library.

I am a native speaker of U.S. English. The termination of my Velodyne calibration microphone isn’t compatible with any computer jack, so I’ll have to search the basement for any old hardware that came with this P.C.

Long ago at work, we were given seven-character IDs comprising first initial + last name, clipped or padded as necessary. When I must pronounce it, I say “J [pause] Lupine”.