Posted by: Idioma Extra | December 21, 2011

Thursday Tidbit– Never, Ever, and Never Ever

Never, ever, and never ever

There is often some confusion about how or when to use never and ever. There is also the frequency adverb never ever which is used at times. Here is a quick explanation of how or when to properly use these adverbs.


Never obviously is used in negative sentences. It is generally used with the present perfect, but it can also be used in the simple present, simple past, and future. If there is only one verb, it is placed before the verb. If there is an auxiliary, it is placed between the auxiliary and the principal verb. Here are some examples:

I have never gone bungie jumping before.

I never read the newspaper in the morning.

She will never finish the project on time.

* When the verb is negative with an auxiliary like don’t, isn’t, haven’t, etc., never is NEVER used because that would be a double negative, which is not allowed in English. Instead, use ever.


Ever is most often used in questions to imply “any time in your life,” but can also be used in statements. For questions, it is placed between the subject and the principle verb. It can also imply, “by chance.” Here are some examples:

Have you ever traveled to a foreign country? (in your life)

Did you ever manage to finish the report? (by chance)

Will you ever get married? (in your life)

Never ever

Never ever is an expression used to imply “really never” and is stronger than simply never. It is most often used with promises to imply something will never be done or repeated. Here are some examples:

I will never ever eat at that restaurant again! The food was horrible!

I never ever eat eggs for breakfast.

They will never ever be allowed to enter the club again because of their actions last night.

Check yourself

Exercise 1:  Underline the correct word to complete the sentence.

1.  Have you (never / ever) tried cow tongue?

2.  The employees have (ever / never) received a raise.

3. She said she will (never ever / ever) go on a date with a co-worker.

4. The contestant (never / ever) received their prize for winning the contest.

5. Would you (ever / never) consider living in a foreign country?

6. I don’t think she has (ever / never) read a book in her life.

7. My boss said he isn’t (ever / never ever) going to hire someone without experience.

8. The student (never / ever) finished the test.

9. Will this economy (never / ever) get better?

10. I don’t think this rain will (never / ever) stop.

Answers to last week’s Check Yourself

 1. They buy the tickets.

Simple past question: _____Did they buy the tickets?

Present progressive statement: ______They are buying the tickets.

2. She listens to the song.

Present perfect statement: _________She has listened to the song.

Past progressive question: _______Was she listening to the song?

3. They think of a solution to the problem.

Simple past question: ______Did they think of a solution to the problem?

Past progressive statement:_______They were thinking of a solution to the problem.

4. He flies to Chicago.

Simple past question: __Did he fly to Chicago?

Present perfect question:_____Has he flown to Chicago?

5. Your friend runs in the park.

Present progressive statement:____Your friend is running in the park.

Past progressive question: _____Was your friend running in the park?


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