I've recently come across Reading and Use of English task (part 4).
Rewrite sentence I always hated pasta when I was a child but now I cook it regularly using word USE.

My answer is (in italic my completing structure): I did use to hate pasta when I was a child but now I cook it regularly.
Answer key says the missing structure is: didn't use to like/enjoy.

Is my answer correct grammatically and lexically? Or is it weird?

  • The answer key is correct for most contexts. Why do you want to use emphatic "did?
    – BillJ
    Mar 12, 2020 at 8:33
  • The thing is I want to avoid negative statement and want to know if my answer sustain the same level of flexibility like answer key's Mar 12, 2020 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


If you don't want to use a negative statement, I'd write:

I used to hate pasta when I was a child but now I cook it regularly.

So, if nobody requires that you use the word "use" in this exact form, you can use "used." "Did use" is also grammatically correct, but it's usually used to additionally emphasize the statement.

  • The thing is, according to CAE requirements in part 4, you cannot change the word given... Mar 12, 2020 at 8:51
  • @AndrewBumetsov, are you sure, using "used" instead of "use" would be considered a change? Also, is this some actual test when someone will evaluate it later?
    – Jan
    Mar 12, 2020 at 8:53
  • Unfortunately, Cambridge says using "used" instead of "use" is a change. Do you imply an examiner will give it a chance? Mar 12, 2020 at 8:55
  • @AndrewBumetsov, yes, I'm asking if this task involves some official judgement by someone - as to be correct or wrong? Both your suggestion in the question and the one in my answer are grammatically correct, though.
    – Jan
    Mar 12, 2020 at 8:56
  • If "use" needs to be used exactly like this, then I don't see any other option than "I did use to hate", because the suggestion "I didn't use to like" is the change of the meaning of the sentence (hate and didn't like are not exactly the same.) But I think, "I did use to hate" sounds forced in this context. I used to hate sounds much more usual.
    – Jan
    Mar 12, 2020 at 9:06

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