Article Review


Article Review: The Correct Application of “Used To” in Negative and Interrogative Sentences

The Manila Times Opinion Writer Jose A. Carillo responded to queries about the use of the auxiliary verb “used to”in negative and interrogative sentences. Consequently,he demonstrated both the American English prescription and the Contrarian’s prescription regarding the problem. Carillo explicitly told his readers that both prescriptions are sensible. However, at the end of his article, he tacitly stated that he was rooting for Contrarian’s.

When used in declarative sentence, ”used to” clearly functions like it should — as an auxiliary verb affirming the sense of a state of affairs of past action that no longer subsists. It conveys the idea of a condition that is no longer true or action that is no longer done. Nevertheless, problems and questions about its grammatical validity arises when it is used in negative and interrogative sentences.

According to the American English prescription, one must drop the /d/ from the verb in “used to” every time it works with the auxiliary verb “did.” This idea, however, was frownedd upon by some grammarians. According to them, “used to” exists only in the past tense. Its negative and interrogative form can’t possibly take the auxiliary verb “do”.  Carillo stated “… we must not turn a blind eye to these contrarian prescriptions, which are actually sensible. To be on the safe side through, we need to follow the American English prescriptions because , well , American English is the de facto Philippine standard.”

The topic is all about the use of “used to + verb” in negative and interrogative sentences. I noticed that the writer has demonstrated examples  at the beginning of his article. Due to this, it was easier to understand. The chosen topic craves examples. So, I commend Mr. Carillo for being considerate. His purpose is to show or demonstrate  the correct use of “used to” in negative and interrogative sentences. His purpose was explicitly revealed. He provided a conclusion to the readers, thus saying we must follow American English prescription because it’s the de facto Philippine standard.

He wrote the article with the perspective of a Filipino citizen. Although his opinion has only shown in the conclusion (because all- throughout the article he was providing examples for both prescriptions), he has proven that he considered the local elements to conclude. I noticed that he sparingly laced the article with his opinion. Nevertheless, he made an impact at the end. The lat sentence hit me. It has made me realize that, yes , American English is the de facto of Philippine Standard. He has shown his stand even with two sentences.

The intended readers for this article are grammarians , students, teachers and professionals . This can contribute also to the field of English. The idea he gave — which he showed in two sentences — might attract grammarians to also provide their stand on the issue.