1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Perché non prendeva l'autobu…

"Perché non prendeva l'autobus?"

Translation:Why didn't he use to take the bus?

December 14, 2014

159 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benutzer

"Why did he not use to take the bus?" should be removed. No one would ever say that. "Why didn't he/she take the bus?" would be the best option.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadelynWri

Even if the meaning were correct, it should say "useD to".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ScottGud

My English is becoming more badder


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NadinaMaria22

Yeah. That is one silly sentence....Who talks like that anyway??? (I might add, my English is becoming more worser too.) :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/satishkc

In this context, that would be "My English used to be less badder". :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Not if the verb is "did" - that makes for two past tenses, and that never happens in English. "He used to take the bus" "He did not use to take the bus" NEVER "He did not used to take the bus", because that last version would put the action in the past tense of the past tense.

A better translation: "Why was he not taking the bus?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/malcolmissimo

Because "used to" is inherently a past tense meaning, it has to keep the past participle. You should never use "did" with it.

Better still, and accepted, "why would he not take the bus?" "Would" isn't always the conditional, it can also be the (habitual) past.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PATRICKPIZ1

you ought never say 'never'. 'did' is, of course perfectly acceptable, even if not used among people whose speech you are familiar with (it's a big world). it's also not your job to mandate how people speak. it's only important that duo recognize acceptable forms. so if duo doesn't accept something you believe to be correct, report it. don't worry about how the rest of us speak.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VepwYo

DL accepts the answer - "why were you not taking the bus". This is a better way to translate the sentence - not preaching :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SchubertNo21

'Why didn't you take the bus?' was accepted 30/4/20.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoannaPeas3

No such phrase as 'he did not use to take..' if anything it would be '..used to take..'. You can say '..didn't used to..' if pushed, but generally, the phrase makes me wonder if DL gets native English speakers to check the answers?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisBarlo3

"used to" is basically an adverb nowadays. Since the d and t sound similar it is mostly pronounced "use to", but could be spelled "use' to" (but no one does).

No one would say "was he not taking the bus" except when they are stressing "not", as in someone was being delinquent for not taking the bus.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sassicat

I agree - this is appalling use of English! It doesn't mean anything!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

It means that he was not in the habit of taking the bus, rather than that he did not take it on one occasion. However I agree that almost nobody would ever say it. I think that this is a case where the Italian has a tense to express the exact meaning (imperfetto) whereas English does not (we have no imperfect tense as such) so we have to either use the simple past tense and let the context make it clear that we are talking a past habit, or we have to use an expression like "use to" or even "would" (why wouldn't he take the bus? [in the past]).

As to whether it should be "used to" or "use to", the simple past is "used to" (eg he used to take the bus) but once you use the auxiliary "did" you have to use the infinitive form of the verb "use". If you don't believe me try "did" with any other verb and you will see it always takes the infinitive not the simple past form of the verb. This is because the "did" is sufficient to indicate the past tense so the past form of the verb itself is not required. Here is a link to a good explanation: http://www.grammar.cl/rules/used-to-use-to.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lasse183511

Merriam-Webster does not have "use to" as an expression for a habit, not even if you're talking about present time. The link above explains where "use to" (habitually) came from.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NadinaMaria22

Yes, Duo might consider ditching that silly sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leonid6971

Yet, 6 years later, it's the same No gooder


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GibLPCust

It said I had a typo because I didn't use the word "not." But the only options were "did" and "n't" as a contraction. That's what I used and then reported it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giuseppe777570

My very thoughts. Quite a desperate attempt at English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jes861665

This has been here for five years!?! In English the answer is incorrect ("use" in place of past tense "used" and in Italian it is untranslatable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephT.Madawela

these people never answer but you are right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mbisson

We cannot put such hard and fast rules on what can be said in a language. In fact, it's trivial to come up with an example. Perhaps you're discussing a friend, and how he used to go work, but he always walked. Perhaps person B knows that the bus goes right past the office: "Why didn't he use to take the bus?" or perhaps person B's sentence didn't flow smoothly from brain to mouth, and came out as "Why did he not use to take the bus?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeeAnn761929

NO! This is not proper English, and all langyages have unbreakable rules.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LifeLearn1

can you tell me please what 'he use to take the bus' means? In English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/darcara

"Why did he not use to take the bus?" is not good English, at least not in America.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eluzie

Or in any other place!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonClaster

But it would be the correct translation according to the italian sentense, and therefore good for understanding and learning italian. If one was trying to learn english, on the other hand, it would not


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeeAnn761929

No, we cannot botch a language like that. Its not a good sentence and should not be used. We would have said "why did he stop taking the bus"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeeAnn761929

I disagree. The correct translation has to be something which is gramatically correct in the language. Not everything can be translated literally.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ezekiel66

I think this example is showing the limits of Duo. Italian is a latin language, very opposite to English. This Past Tense lesson is almost illogical , at least for a french like me. The "used to" or "be + ing" isn't natural at all. I will go to the end of the lesson but honestly, it's kinda useless, it will confuse me more.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gary292012

Who is reading these comments from Duolingo? It's Feb. 2016, and this has not been read or fixed??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fuigshdrkh

It's August 2019 and no one is. Even though they claim otherwise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MashaTrakh

Why doesn't it accept "weren't you taking" (instead of only he she it)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandrabruck

I would always use the personal pronoun to express the formal you. If not we create a lot of confusion.

"Perché Lei non prendeva l'autobus?" = Why weren't you taking the bus


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sputni

Thanks sandrabruck for clearing that up - I was asking the same question as Mash Trakh.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZannAlbary

The "correct" answer is grammatically incorrect in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lacucina

So if prendeva means he, she, it, or you, why doesn't it accept "why didn't you...." There's nothing in the sentence to distinguish as to whether it's for he, she, or you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redearth329

I agree that "why didn't you...?" should be accepted. In this case, it would be the formal "Lei" form of "you".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jensitalianduo

I agree with all the other comments but want to add that even when you do use this type of wording, the correct use is 'used to' NOT 'use to'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CChat
  • 1484

Only in the affirmative form. The following sentences are all correct, but not necessarily frequently used. "I used to love him" "Did he use to love you?" "He didn't use to love me, but he did use to love my sister."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

CChat is correct. "Didn't used to" would put the action in the past tense of the past tense, which makes no sense. If there is already a past tense verb in the phrase, then it's "use to", and it doesn't have to be negative: "He DID use to do that".

Personally, I've never grown completely comfortable with the "used to/did use to" construction and try to avoid it if possible. It's always seemed to me like a lazy short-cut to avoid precise English, however much it's used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HaroldWonh

Faulty English: "Why did he not use to take the bus?" You cannot use "did" and "used" together. Reported yet again, 11.10.16.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dallas523237

"Why did he not used to take the bus?" is not correct. Maybe "Why did he used to not take the bus?", but that still sounds a bit funny. Take this one out Duolingo!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SofiaS.17

Io sono troppo conffuso


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaellaL15

It doesn't make sense. The English is wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex518387

my answer from the selection of words was 'why didn't he take the bus', the word 'not' wasn't there. DL suggested the correct answer was ' Why did not he take the bus' which is nonsense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertWill713455

n't is the program's fault.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diana671263

I was told I should have used "not" when I used "didn't" - there wasn't a "not" alternative - and the translation given above isn't English as benutzer below has pointed out!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanCoope312550

I wonder who checks the English in the DL answers. Surely the sentences need to be grammatically correct in BOTH languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrendaFree3

Agreed. It can be difficult to know what to choose in some cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrendaFree3

Why didn't he take the bus? This should be accepted as it is the most commonly used. It is awful grammar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreas521061

Dl is misleading us who are not native english-speaking!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex518387

It is not an easy sentence but I am very impressed you are learning Italian in a foreign (to you) language, a lingot


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mcgeejp

"Why did he use to not take the bus." is the clearest I can say it with the usage DL seems to want.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PHN04

Beware the split infinitive!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caterinabella

You could say "Why wasn't he taking the bus?" or "Why didn't he take the bus?"


[deactivated user]

    Almost nobody talks this way even if it's technically correct English. I mean, this translation would never have occurred to me under normal circumstances.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marissarn

    I wrote it perfertly except that i wrote she instead of he, why not she?


    [deactivated user]

      Maybe there was a different misspelled word in your answer? Note that you wrote "perfertly" instead of "perfectly" in your question here. I know that when I'm answering, my fingers run ahead of my brain a lot. In any case, yes, Duolingo should accept "he," "she," or even "it" (although the latter is highly unlikely).


      [deactivated user]

        I agree with benutzer. "Why did he not use to take the bus?" I would not say that. "Why didn't he/she take the bus?" would be the best option. (I had: Why not take the bus.)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SharynMulloy

        The options do not allow the correct English


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElizavetaC13

        Think that DL put such incorrect sentences to make us to communicate, search and find. Thank you DL and all who seek and find. Bravo


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KGdcprXt

        why did n't he / she take the bus is more correct


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/droginator

        Another bad sentence. Already been addressed in the comments above.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KGdcprXt

        that is absolute nonsense the correct answer is ' why didn't he take the bus '.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Richard470842

        'Why did he not generally take the bus?' is a very clear translation and much more likely to be one that you might hear in English conversation.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maxrivers2

        Prendeva ,means he or she,


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/denisemelv1

        How would you say: Why not take the bus?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeeAnn761929

        I'm doing this exercise June 2018. Still not corrected!!! Did the people commenting also report the question?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeeAnn761929

        The imperfect in English is formed by using was/were + gerund. May I suggest a good compromise: "Why wasn't he taking the bus?" Otherwise, this question should be scrapped


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat590727

        this answer is plain wrong. No one would say 'didn't he use'.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/seattlepatricia

        I suppose this could be translated Didn't he used to take the bus? but DL's translation doesn't make any sense


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregor980986

        The remorseless use of the "used to..."-prefix results in complete garbage translations. It's very annoying.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/catherine191087

        Very bad english. It should be:. Why didnt he take the bus?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LifeLearn1

        "he use to take the bus" - what language is it??? Dear DL, are we supposed to make notes to ungrammatical sentences - to use them to pass through to the next task? Recently I've started such a list and it's growing


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofiiatheweeb

        Why didn't he use to take the bus is horrible English that only a baby would understand. Duolingo needs to check all the posts we write to change this.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VepwYo

        It is still there this translation which is wrong Why didn't he use to take the bus? I have reported it as 'something else went wrong' Not preaching - just agreeing with others on here that this is not an acceptable translation


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liamvictor

        I'm working through the Italian for the second time. "Why didn't he use to take the bus?" is still here, and is still absolutely awful English.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmeryRaab

        This is by far the worst english translation i have ever seen.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avellana620325

        This is definitely not a correct translation into English.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mdFT3jQX

        This sentence would never be spoken in English. Most translations of the sentences in the this section make no sense and have little to do with spoken or written English.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EnchantedApril

        Five long years ago someone suggested a better English translation, but obviously no one paid attention. No English speaker would say "Why didn't he use to take the bus?", so it should be changed to a more natural response. The current translation makes no sense. Thankfully, "Why didn't he take the bus?" is accepted as an alternative.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dick403354

        Stupid English sentence. What does it mean?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emilietipt

        that is very bad English: It should be: why didn't he use the bus, or why didn't he take the bus


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithStanton

        Why didn't he take the bus? Why was he not taking the bus? NEVER " Why didn't he use to take the bus? "


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fitzlefrog

        To use a phrase like "didn't he used to..." is appallingly bad English!!!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fitzlefrog

        To use a phrase such as "did not used to..." is appallingly horrible English


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GordonReih

        pretty sure that's not grammatical


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PHN04

        As the discussion here reveals, by requalifying translations as 'anything DL has heard is probably OK' we are opening the floodgates to FessbukSpeak. "Do you come here often? I didn't use to." Or is it "I didn't used to"? Or even "I didn't used too"? Or "I didn't yoused too" (Texas version). The possibilies are endless. Discuss for your GCSE English grade!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bill105707

        First, my apologizes. I do not know how to type the Italian accents. Someday I may learn how to do so. I do not like the English translation of "Why did he not use to take the bus? Would it be better that the Italian wording be "perche non usava prendere l'autobus?"


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithStanton

        You can type the Italian characters with accents using "Alt Codes" or, as I did, buy an Italian keyboard and set up your computer to switch between English(?) and Italian.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrendaFree3

        The translation is awkward. It is more common to hear "why didn't he take the bus." And n't is the program's fault.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinJeffree

        Why didn't he use to take the bus??? Terrible English. Probably terrible American too but who can tell in the age of Trump. I hope Duo's Italian is better!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LRE8AhIb

        You correct 'didn't' to 'did not', and yet there was only 'n't' in the words provided, no 'not' - !!!!!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/C0kVebf7

        that is not an acceptable english translation


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinaNic136314

        great example of NOT correct, or even possible, English


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roseanna223913

        this is a nonsensical sentence. No One talks this way


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve140998

        The english grammer used here is awful


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tulika2014

        What rubbish english


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anitavaln

        This is very clumsy and no one would ever say this.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EnigmaKT

        So silly! Use? Used to


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PclQWx

        It's not a proper sentence in english


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanCoope312550

        How about why wasn't he taking the bus?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iaingow

        This is complete nonsense in english


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinJeffree

        perhaps DL should tell us what he didn't use to take the bus. Was it a ticket? Was it a credit card? After more than 6 years of being told this sentence is rubbish, I think we ought to be told. Come on DL, prove to us that a human monitors your program at least once in 6 years!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristineM866417

        The new version isn't any better. They tell me I've a typo because I CHOSE did+n't from their selection rather than writing "why did not he take the bus".


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jane643611

        This is incredibly bad English.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anna684111

        Exactly - I wish DL had someone to check their use of English.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angie922492

        I thought I was crazy when I read the English translation. This is just BAD. I will report the error.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrendaFree3

        When will this translation mistake be corrected?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roseanna223913

        Gee, can you think of a more convoluted sentence ? I can't even figure out what it means


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trish152804

        No one says this. "used to " possibly but still not a normal expression.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jane201498

        incorrect it should be "why didn't he/she take the bus?"


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nowo1978

        "Why didn't he take the autobus" is wrong because ... ???


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/C0kVebf7

        you cannot say 'didn't he "use" to take' in English. It simply gets contracted to 'Why didn't he use the bus' or 'why didn't he take the bus'. either but not both.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/keepit3hunnid

        Ayo yall check put my music, search up SadBelle on youtube or google, its the dude with the yellow ski mask


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rob706699

        Very bad English translation


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juliette762554

        No 'not' in answer selection and translation is awkward


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jerry993907

        why didn't he used to is not proper English


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeleine863330

        What awful English grammar, DL. It should be: Why HADN'T he useD to take the bus?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KGdcprXt

        Sorry but in your sentence the English is seriously mangled, I agree that the translation is awful you would have to say 'Why DID'NT he take the bus'.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeleine863330

        No, my sentence is not seriously mangled. 'Hadn't used to' is correct English when referring to an action that used to happen regularly. However, people increasingly and incorrectly say 'didn't used to'. Your suggestion of 'Why didn't he take the bus' is correct English but it doesn't imply a regular action. It's more suited to describing a one-off action. How do I know? I'm a native English speaker who has earned a living as an editor for almost 30 years so please don't patronise me with 'Sorry, but'. Anyone who starts a sentence with that is anything but sorry.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KGdcprXt

        My comment was in no way intended to be patronizing, my use of the word 'sorry' was a polite way of saying 'I do not agree with you if you chose to interpret it that way that is your problem entirely, The Imperfect in Italian can also be translated in this phrase as 'was taking / took not solely as used to take.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laur1e

        As you are an experienced editor, perhaps you can point me to a text where a competent professional writer has used the "hadn't used to" construction in this way. I've googled high and low but can't find one, and it just seems completely wrong to me.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madeleine863330

        It is surprisingly hard to find on the internet actually and all the examples I've found for 'had used' or 'had not used' plus the infinitive are from classic rather than contemporary literature. However, the Oxford Handbook of English Grammar available via Google Books (page 256) 3rd paragraph down refers to it and quotes the positive example of: 'He had used to tell wildly funny stories'. It says its use is occasional and formal. I'm not sure if you'll be able to get straight to it through this long link. https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_Oxford_Handbook_of_English_Grammar/azG-DwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=%22had+used+to%22+grammar+examples&pg=PA256&printsec=frontcover Language does tend to evolve quite quickly and I suspect that it's used less and less often in everyday speech these days, which is why it may sound wrong to you. There's also a lot of conflicting information online.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KGdcprXt

        I completely agree with your comment 4 months ago, when learning another language it is all too easy to fall into the trap of translating a phrase literally, we have all done it at some point. However you cannot apply English grammatical rules to another language, sometimes you just have to choose the best approximation and yet still ensure it makes sense.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lag_Incarnate

        Should be "used to," past tense. It's just kind of slurred in spoken English as "use to," at least in my part of America. Giving me small heart attacks by having a bubble choice missing a letter.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinaNic136314

        this is an appalling and meaningless translation


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lee570041

        Terrible English, no one speaks that way


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharleenCo1

        Why didn't he use the bus? Or why didn't he take the bus. Or why didn't he take the bus previously? But the Stones sang, I used to love her, but it's all over now. "


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giovanni917058

        With duolingo's "used to" esp. when


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/C0kVebf7

        He can either take the bus or use the bus but not both in the same sentence in English.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hiQbo6xH

        Well these comments use done make me larf and use done cheer me up..


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zP53QS3g

        "Why didn't he use to take the bus?", -makes no practical sense!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaynaItaliano

        Why wasn't he taking the bus?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KGdcprXt

        As you can see from the number of comments this sentence has generated, the translation of which is a source of much debate, the best translation for this would be 'why DIDN'T he take the bus.'


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Humphrey126555

        Didn’t is perfectly acceptable in this context


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wave_Invoker333

        There's not "not" only "n't" in the exercise.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KGdcprXt

        See the comments directly above !


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Orazio9591

        That sentence doesn't really make sense.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lapeyrere

        Never said or heard. Change it ! 'used to' is a form of the English Imperfect as is' would.'Do not expect fluent English speakers / nationals to use your version.... ever!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnWheatl6

        No one says that!! Rubbish!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iamprov

        Not only is it a bad translation, but Duolingo mispelled it!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndyJamesM

        Again, the official translation is wrong.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/33bde

        i think this translation is not correct and agree with the other comments


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonClaster

        It should (in poor english) at least be "...why did he no use to", and NOT "...why did he not used to" - which is grammatically completely wrong!

        Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.