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We can say some sentences with "used to" in the Active Voice, but are the Passive Voice ones used with "used to" as well?

I used to read those books ---> Those books used to be read by me.

She didn't use to drive this car ---> This car didn't use to be driven by her.

  • At least in British English, the instances of use in the second example should be used. I don't know if American English is different. – SamBC Feb 22 at 22:44
  • Didn’t used to; *didn’t use to. Didn’t used to (= formerly didn’t) is the informal equivalent of the standard form never used to and the rarely encountered phrase used not to. (From Garner's Modern American Usage 3rd Ed.) – Michael Login Mar 30 at 20:12
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Yes. You can use used to in the passive voice. You have used them correctly.

However, it won't always be as natural as it is in the active voice. It depends on the rest of the sentence, and the context. For instance, sometimes it might be more appropriate to use "were/was once".

This (house) was once the home of Susan B Anthony.

It can create both a greater impression of distance in time, and a more 'literary' feel.

  • You mean: "This house used to be theirs" and "This house was once theirs" are the same but the second one is more literary. But can there be "This house once used to be theirs"? – Michael Azarenko Feb 24 at 7:16
  • Yes, it's even more indirect and redundant, but acceptable and not strange to me. – SamBC Feb 24 at 8:31
  • "At least in British English, the instances of use in the second example should be used. I don't know if American English is different" by this you mean it should be "She didn't used to drive this car" instead of "She didn't use to drive this car" – Michael Azarenko Mar 3 at 17:23
  • @MichaelAzarenko Yes. In my experience (as a Brit), British English uses "used to", not "use to". – SamBC Mar 3 at 17:36
  • Even when it already has "did". 1) "Did you used to smoke?" 2) No, I didn't used to smoke"? It sounds so queer... – Michael Azarenko Mar 3 at 17:56

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