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How can I say something like:

I didn't used to like this band.  Before, I didn't like this band.

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4 Answers 4

Your initial Japanese sentence doesn't make sense.

Anyway, for "before" or "used too", you can use 昔【むかし】 (long ago), 昔々 (if you really want to emphasize that it was long ago). Or you can simply say 前(は) or 以前(は) for a more "recent" period of before.


You could also use かつて to mean "at one time/formerly", but I'm not too familiar with its syntax. I think like


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The first example and explanation are fine and I agree, but I don't understand the last one. 好きじゃいバンド does not make sense at all. かつて or かつては could be used to mean in the past but I think the usage is more common in writing, not when speaking. And may sound a bit awkward to use it in the OP's context anyways. –  Taro Sato Oct 22 '12 at 20:08
「かつての好きじゃないバンド」>> How about 「かつては/前は/以前は好きじゃなかったバンド」"The band that I didn't like before" ? –  user1016 Apr 14 '14 at 6:29

このごろまで、このバンドは好きではありませんでした. or


I did not like this band until recently.

You can replace このごろまで with 前は (before) but somehow this feels more natural.

(Given the Japanese predilection for double negatives, there may well be an equivalent way of saying "I did not used to" and still convey the same meaning as "I didn't [like___] before but now..." but you might find the parallel construction is used by people of a different age/time or the equivalent expression used by the age/group you have in mind uses completely different grammar.)

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I've seen 元【もと】に used in this manner before. It's usually used in contexts along the lines of "originally" or when talking about how things used to be. For example:

大学の頃、*元に*医学を専攻したかった(orを専門にしたかった)けど、1年後経営学に変更した。 "When I was in college I originally wanted to study medicine, but after 1 year I switched to business management."

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元に-->I think it's [元々]{もともと} (or maybe [元]{もと}は) ≒最初は・初めは. –  user1016 Apr 14 '14 at 6:42

Given that Japanese natives have commented without mentioning it, perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems like そもそも would make sense.

Trying to estimate the context using your English example, eventually you came to like the band, but originally you did not like it, correct? So, そもそも would see usage like:


or maybe


At any rate, I think the lesson from the disparate answers/discussion is that "it's complicated to express this concept, and depends on the situation and context." :D

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It's complicated in English too! It's colloquial only and people don't agree on whether it should be "didn't used to" or "didn't use to", or different wordings altogether. –  hippietrail Apr 16 '14 at 2:21
You say そもそも(はじめから) when you still do the action. eg そもそもはじめから好きじゃなかった。 implies 今も好きじゃない. –  user1016 Apr 16 '14 at 6:03
I see, thank you Chocolate! –  Khakionion Apr 16 '14 at 12:55

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