From Hull AWE
(*You may want to read more about:
The problems with use, and more particularly the past forms used, fall into two main (related) groups: pronunciation and spelling.
- Two pronunciations are involved.
- The normal lexical verb 'to use' is pronounced with the voiced sibilant '-z-', so that it sounds like 'youze', past forms 'youzed' (IPA: /juːz, juːzd/. The meaning is 'to make use of', 'to utilize', 'to employ'.
- The semi-modal verb used to, [verb], which means 'was [formerly] the case [but is no longer so', 'it was [my] habit [but no longer is]' as in "I used to be young", "We used to live abroad" or "I used to play football every day", is pronounced with the unvoiced '-s-', as 'youst' /juːst/. In Present-day English, it is always used, in in the past tense - although Jane Austen, among other older writers, wrote the present tense form I use to ... to mean 'it is my habit to ...', where the pronunciation is with '-z-'. Older pedants may feel that it is too informal for academic English, but it seems acceptable to AWE.
- There is also a formation with past meaning formed with the auxiliary verb 'to do': "He didn't use to be like this". As the past meaning is contained in the past tense of the auxiliary (did, not 'do'), the form of the lexical verb used is the base form use, not the past form
- The dismissive colloquial command 'get used to it' means 'you must accept it [because I am not going to change it].'
- The spelling difficulties arise from the pronunciation of these two, the semi-modal verb and the participial adjective used to. Since very few people pronounce both dentals - the voiced '-d' and the unvoiced 't-' with any separation, the two letters are commonly assimilated into one. Hence it is not uncommon to see