I too was dinged for, "Were you playing the flute this morning?" I don't care about that and can easily accept that, "this morning" should be "stamattina", but I don't see how to get "in the morning" from "la mattina" without any other preposition. Is this simply understood in Italian?
to jgbachand, sorry I have just looked at the link and there is something wring going on here, points 3 and 4 are grammatically incorrect in UK English, You cannot say " I did not use to do something, or I use to do something. It has to be used to do. The imperfect tense when something was done habitually or over a long period of time. I did not check the origin of this site but it would be better to look at an English grammar reference as sadly the d is lost in translation. Not always easy to hear in speech but it should be there in written
I know only American English (apologies), and my point is that when you reverse the order of the words in forming a question, the "did" takes the brunt of the past tense and the verb "use" returns to the present, as is always the case. For example: I saw three wisemen coming from afar. Did you see them? I had two pieces of candy; did you have more than me? I used to run with the wolves; did you use to run with them as well? Perhaps this is an American usage, but I have never seen "did" and the past tense of any verb used together. (I'm not an expert in English, just been using it all my life... Thanks for listening...)
This discussion is confusing because we're being confused by a typo. The word in question is "USED". In rapid speech it can be misheard as "USE" particularly because it is contracted by the following "TO", but in discussing the past it is always "USED" and I believe that is true of both UK and American English. One says "I USED to do something" meaning that in the past the subject did something. A phrase like "I USE to do something" is just wrong.
(American English speaker) I think I'm understanding this. "Used" here is not an ordinary past tense verb. "Used to do" is a phrase indicating some kind of continuous past tense in English (sorry I don't know the terminology). "Use to" is not correct English at all but a mishearing of the spoken phrase "used to."
As a native English speaker and grammar teacher: part of the confusion here between "use to" and "used to" stems from mixing up declarative and interrogative forms. "I used to play the flute in the morning" becomes "Did you use to..." as a question, since the modal auxiliary verb "did" changes tense and the main verb keeps its base form (use). While "use to" only appears in the past tense in modern English, as others have noted, the inclusion of the modal "do/did" for questions in simple past and present tenses means that "use to" will appear as well... but only in the question form. Note that the use in "use(d) to" and the regular verb have different pronunciations as a way of differentiating function: voiced /ju:z/ for the normal verb (past tense /ju:zd/) and unvoiced /ju:s/ for the noun and the helping verb (past tense /ju:st/). In layman's terms, the s in use sounds like "s" as a noun or in "used to", and like a "z" the rest of the time. Hope this is helpful.