Ever and never are total opposites of each other. One is commonly found in statements, while the other is usually used in questions. But what’s the best way to use ever and never?
I’ll show you the different usages of the adverbs ever and never with examples. Then, challenge yourself to a brain exercise I whipped up.
What Is the Difference Between Ever and Never?
Both never and ever are adverbs that express a time before now. However, ever means at any time, while never means at no time or not at any time.
- Have you ever been to New York?
- I’ve never been to New York.
Both never and ever are commonly used with simple past verbs, especially in US English. For example:
- I never saw him again.
Ever is commonly used in questions. For example:
- Has she ever opened her book?
Only use ever in negative sentences if there is already a word not. For example:
- I don’t ever want to ride the roller coaster again.
We also use ever with negative adverbs like barely, hardly, and scarcely. For example:
- I hardly ever watch TV.
Than ever is used for comparatives. For example:
- He’s kinder than ever.
Use ever after the word if. For example:
- If you ever want to grab the opportunity, call me.
Never Sentence Examples
- Never ever climb that tree again.
- She has never watched a play before.
- She never wants to see me again.
- Never asking for help is a weakness.
- I never saw such a huge bird before.
Ever Sentence Examples
- Many students wonder if it’s terrible to only ever have one friend at school.
- Don’t you ever call your parents?
- Kaitlyn has been working harder than ever because she wants to travel.
- He doesn’t ever eat meat.
- I promise I’ll love you forever and ever.
Is It Never Ever or Ever Never?
The correct phrase is never ever, which is a dramatic or emphatic way of saying never. Never ever use this phrase if you are trying to write concisely.
Never Ever Forget Never and Ever
One misconception in the English language is that never is used for negative sentences, and ever is for positive sentences. However, ever can also express doubt and negation with other negative words.
Remember that never means not at any time, while ever means at any time. I hope this guide helped you develop better English sentences!