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  5. "Ela não bebia vinho."

"Ela não bebia vinho."

Translation:She did not use to drink wine.

June 12, 2013

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i guess i never write sentences like this in english, but i always thought it was "used to" even the dictionary hints seem to agree with me, but it is incorrect.


When using "did", the main verb doesn't change to the past form:

  • She used to drink
  • She did not use to drink


"Use to" in conjunction with "did" is indeed the correct form. However "used to" is commonly used even by well educated native English speakers. In my opinion, the purpose of this course is to teach Portuguese to English speakers, not to reinforce "proper" English for English speakers. Therefore, I believe that "used to" should be accepted.

  • 1682

Not sure that is true, and even if it is, that construction is not commonly used in conversational English.


Ive never heard "use to". I have just checked several on line dictionaries. Its definetly "used".


In a negative sentence, "used to" becomes "did not use to". It works like other regular verbs in English. This link explains the grammar:



'She used to not drink wine' should be accepted, too.


That is surely the standard form. The duo version is very clumsy.

[deactivated user]

    She didn't use to drink wine, I think, is the grammatically correct option. Although, I'm sure that many people say what you have written.


    It could be incorrect because it's a double negative and it splits the infinitive. It sounded correct when I wrote it. :)


    She used not to drink wine. Why is that not ok?


    I like it as it seems it could be a more emphatic negative but Duolingo disagreed!


    It's absolutely fine. While modern English generally uses the auxiliary verbs do/does for negatives, in this particular construction it's fine not to use them.


    It's correct, but modern English (BrE & AmE) tends to use the auxiliaries do/does for negatives and questions.


    The best way to express this English is: She never used to drink wine.


    I included that version in a post on this page three years ago. Both are valid as well as the BrE "I used not to..." (which sounds outdated in AmE).


    Thanks. (this is such a long thread)


    How about "She did not use to drink wine."


    English is my first language and i said "used to drink" which was marked wrong. I was sure "use to drink" was wrong, but now I realise I was mistaken


    Used to drink is correct in English as a positive statement. But for the negative, it becomes "did not USE to drink." Duolingo follows this usage pretty consistently.


    the more i learn portuguese the more i realize how bad my english is.


    The problem with this is that we as English speakers are somewhat lazy and will often mix up 'use' and 'used' just to make the sentence flow better when speaking

    [deactivated user]

      In speach "use to" and "used to" will end up sounding the same for most speakers, unless they are being precise in their diction.


      Wikipedia has a very interesting article that covers the semi-modal auxiliary verb "used to": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_markers_of_habitual_aspect.

      Actually, it is also considered correct to say "She did not used to drink wine," although that is now less common. Of course, it would be wrong to do likewise to just any ordinary verb. Well, "use/used" can also be just an ordinary verb, but there is even a distinction in pronunciation. As an ordinary verb it is pronounced with a z sound: /juːzd/, while as a marker of habitual aspect, it is pronounced with an s sound: /juːsd/. Most of us don't even realize we say it differently, even if we never fail to do so. I think that once we are aware of how we pronounce this special verb differently, then it would no longer feel wrong to say "She did not used to drink wine."


      "Used to" is a semi-modal verb and functions like an ordinary verb in AmE.

      I didn't use to...
      I used to...

      Because of the pronunciation link between the two consonents "d" and "t", it's difficult to hear the "d" sound.


      You will never hear this sentence in English, and present tense "use to" is grammatically wrong in talking about the past.


      It functions like any other regular verb in the past tense. When you use the auxiliary "did", the base verb is required. In this case, "use".

      • Joe used to drink beer.
      • Joe did not use to drink beer.

      [deactivated user]

        I didn't used to, just won't go away... Like an orange president.


        I really don't know which is worse: DL's translations or the "Sunkist" leader.


        O nosso presidente é um bebê cor de laranja.

        [deactivated user]

          I hope that all that changes, but it seems like division and hatred are being spewed and too many people are buying it. OTOH, there are some bright spots, the democratic candidate in NYC, not even 30!


          Does "She wasn't drinking wine" work too?


          No. Thats past progressive: "ela não estava bebendo vinho"


          Vou fazer o advogado do diabo agora... "ela não estava bebendo vinho" carrega exatamente a mesma informação de "ela não bebia vinho", e portanto deveria ser aceita!


          So the imperfect tense describes more habitual actions than continuous, is that it?


          They have the same meaning.


          I meant continuous within a particular span of time. The past progressive seems to be just a past version of the present progressive (which would make sense).


          Whitlam's "Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar":

          Bebia is more formal while "estava bebendo" is preferred for speaking and informal writing.


          I would have thought it was the other way around and formality was definitely not my primary concern. But thank you, now I know!


          'She was not drinking...' was marked correct. In English we think of the Imperfect as meaning 'was/were' OR 'used to'. I'm having trouble now assimilating a past progressive, but the PTPT version would not use the gerund I think - 'estava a beber'?


          It's possible.

          Portuguese, although a little formal or literary, uses the simple forms meaning progressive tenses.

          These may be possible translations:

          • No momento, eu bebo vinho = At the moment, I am drinking wine
          • Naquele momento, ela não bebia vinho = At that moment, she was not drinking wine


          she used not to drink wine BUT never she did not use to drink wine --in England it is very bad English


          Both Randolph Quick, British grammarian, and the Cambridge Dictionary contradict your statement that "did not use to" is "bad" English.

          Quirk: (A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Longman):  "'He usen't to smoke' and 'He used not to smoke' as preferred by many in British English, and 'He didn't use to smoke' is used by both British English and American English speakers."



          Better English {no idea about American} would be :- She used not to drink wine. Sounds a little bit clumsy today, but I would have been marked down by my English master at school for your translation


          She would not drink wine = Ela nao beberia vinho

          I think this should be "she wasn't drinking wine" and "she didn't drink wine" and "she didn't used to drink wine". Please let me know native speakers!


          She wasnt drinking wine = ela não estava bebendo vinho, she didn't drink wine = ela não bebeu vinho / ela não bebia vinho. She didnt use to drink wine = ela não bebia vinho / ela não costumava beber vinho


          There are many valid translations of the "imperfeito" depending on context and sentence structure.

          Ela não bebia vinho.

          • She didn't drink wine.
          • She didn't use to drink wine.
          • She used not to drink wine. (BrE)
          • She wasn't drinking wine when I saw her last night.


          This tense may be a usual action in the past (which would take "used to" in English)

          There is a type of past habitual action in English that takes "would". This is different from the usual conditionals, though:

          • When I was a child, my mom would (used to) read me a story every night = Quando eu era criança, minha mãe lia uma história toda noite para mim
          • If I were you, I would (conditional) think twice... = Se eu fosse você, (eu) pensaria duas vezes....

          Also, there is an informal usage of the preterite imperfect replacing the conditionals:

          • Se eu fosse você, eu pensaria duas vezes (formal) = Se eu fosse você, eu pensava duas vezes (informal)

          Finally, Portuguese simple tenses may be used (although more formally and literary) as continuous actions:

          • Ela bebia = (may be) = Ela estava bebendo

          Those are the reasons for accepting so many variations (all of them with sort of a continuous sense):

          • Ela não bebia vinho =
          • She did not drink wine
          • She did not use to drink wine
          • She would not drink wine
          • She was not drinking wine

          But for very very literal translations, you can follow Paulenrique's answer :)


          Yes, as a native English speaker, I agree with these comments. 'She used to' sound fine to me, though it's not a thing I've often found myself writing.


          I admit that in conversational English "use to" and "used to" sound pretty much the same. But if I were an English speaker I would probably try to avoid either one in this sentence--something like "she didn't drink wine back then," or just "she didn't drink wine." "She didn't drink the wine" would be a simple past tense.

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