Daily Archives: October 8, 2008

Grammar Wednesday

The “She Lobs One Over the Fence” Edition!

I never claimed to have all the answers (hell, I never even claimed to have MOST of them), and I’ve come across a stumper that I just don’t have time right now to look up, so I’m sending it out to you, my dear friends and fellow word-freaks.  Why is it that we say “used to” and “supposed to” instead of saying “use to” or “suppose to”?  Inquiring freshman – who insist on using the wrong tenses – and their teacher – who didn’t have a ready answer for the query* – want to know.

*My quick-and-dirty answer was that “used to” has to be past tense – you USED to do something, but you don’t anymore.  I posited that “supposed to” is subjunctive – you’re SUPPOSED to be doing something, but you may or may not actually do it.  Was I close?


Filed under colleagues, Grammar, Questions