Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent - A Professional Education Company
Professional English Training Center Located In UK.
Strategy Partner of Chatsifieds.com
www.eloquentlearning.com

How to use ever and never in the present and past tenses | English Time Ask Elo

by Jun 26, 2019English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

How to use ever and never in the present and past tenses | English Time Ask Elo

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How to use ever and never in the present and past tenses

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How to use ever and never in the present and past tenses | English Time Ask Elo

 

Asked by @ Rina Ali (Community Leaner)

 

How to use ever and never in the present and past tenses | English Time Ask Elo

 

Answered by @ Elo Kasia

 

Elo Kasia is the English Mentor for  How to use ever and never in the present and past tensesEnglish Grammar and Speaking Academy” ,  Join now.

 

 
How to use ever and never in the present and past tenses

How to use ever and never in the present and past tenses | English Time Ask Elo

 

How to use ever and never in the present and past tenses Question Time: How to use ever and never in the present and past tenses | English Time Ask Elo

 

 

🙏 @ Rina Ali, Thank you for your question.

 

😀 As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.

 

Most students are familiar with the usage of ever and never when talking about past experiences (with Have you ever…, but, in fact we can use them when talking about the present and the future as well. Today’s article will explain some of the most common (and a little bit less common) applications of these words.

 

When to use “ever” and “never”?

 

“Ever” and “never” have similar meanings in the English language, but they are used in different ways. They can be used in many situations and tenses, but we use them most commonly in the present and past tenses.

Ever means “at any time”. Never means “at no time” or “not at any time”. “Ever” is generally used in questions and “never” is used in negative sentences.

 

1. “Ever” and “never” in the present tense.

“Ever” is generally used to ask questions.

  • Do you ever go to the opera?
  • Do you ever use cookbooks?
  • Do you ever watch war movies?

 

We ask if somebody does these things generally in the present, that is, “at any time.”

Quite often, we think that these things are not done very often or by a large number of people. It can also be used when we talk about something we do or somebody else does and then we ask

  • I watched this great war movie last night. Do you ever watch war movies?

 

When answering these questions in the negative, we use “never”, so for example:

  • Do you ever use cookbooks? No, never.
  • Do you ever go to the opera? No, I never go to the opera. I don’t like classical music.

 

It can also be used when we are annoyed at somebody, for example “Do you ever clean after yourself?” or “Do you ever listen to me?”
“Never” is used to say that we don’t normally or usually do certain things.

  • I never go to work by car. The traffic is really bad.
  • I never eat sweets. They are bad for my teeth.

 

It is also sometimes used to say that we are annoyed at something, or somebody. Quite often it is an exaggeration, not a statement of fact. Look at these examples.

  • He never phones to say that he is going to be late!
  • These cheap toys never work! They break as soon as you open the packet.

 

!Note: We can’t have double negatives in English, so we always use the verb in the positive with “never”. So, we cannot say “I never don’t go out.”

 

2. “Ever” and “never” when talking about past experiences.

 

We use “ever” to ask if somebody has done, or experienced something at some point in the past.

  • Have you ever been to South America?
  • Have you ever tried French cooking?
  • Have you ever cheated on somebody?
  • Has he ever done anything stupid like that before?

 

To answer these questions in the negative or to make a negative statement that we have not done something at any point in the past, we use “never.”

  • Have you ever tried French cooking? No, never.
    Or
  • I have never tried French cooking.
  • I have never cheated on anybody.
  • He has never done anything as stupid as that.

 

“Ever” and “never” can also be used in the future and will have a similar meaning of “at any point in the future” and “at no point”. See the example below:

 

  • Will you ever trust him again? No, never. I will never trust him again after what he has done to me.
    Exceptions: ever in positive sentences

 

There are some situations where “ever” is used in positive sentences:

There is a rule in English which says you cannot use double negatives, which means that any time you use “nobody” or “nothing” you cannot use “never” but you use “ever” instead.

  • Nobody has ever said that to me before. NOT Nobody has never said that to me before.
  • Nothing like this has ever happened to us.

 

Some other situations in which “ever” is used:

  • This is the best coffee I have ever had. (with superlatives)
  • This is the first time I have ever tried seafood. (when talking about doing something for the first time)
  • Don’t ever talk to me like that! Never talk to me like that! (threat)

 

NOTE! For emphasis, you can have both is a statement:

  • I will never, ever cheat on you.
  • Never, ever talk to me like that!

 

Make sure you do our *TT exercises to practise asking questions in English.

 

Check my other articles here: All English Time Ask Elo – Learning Articles

 

How to use ever and never in the present and past tenses Elo Kasia is the Community Mentor for English Grammar and Speaking Academy”  and Director at Eloquent Learning Online School www.eloquentlearning.com.

 

Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent Learning - A Professional Education Company Located In UK. , Strategy Partner of Chatsifieds.com

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