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The word "never" makes an action or a situation negative.

  • She is never coming back.
  • It’s never easy to move to a new country.
  • Frieda has never seen snow.
  • Tom says he’s never going to work for a large company again.

It’s useful to contrast the use of "never" with "not." "Never" provides slightly more emphasis for the negative:

  • He does not drink coffee.
  • He never drinks coffee.
  • I don’t ever go to bed early.
  • I never go to bed early. (don’t ever = never)
  • We didn’t get our mail.
  • We never got our mail.
  • It won’t work.
  • I will never work.

The word "never" can go at the beginning of a command (the imperative form) suggesting advice or some form of instruction:

  • Never watch a scary movie by yourself.
  • Never use your right hand for this. Always use your left hand.
  • Never ever do that again!

The word "never" is often used for the purpose of exaggeration, or it expresses the rarity of an occassion:

  • He never comes on time. (But sometimes he does.)
  • Things never work out for me. (But sometimes they do.)
  • Wanda says she’s never going to get married. (But secretly that’s what she wants.)
  • My train is never on time. (Really? I’m exaggerating.)
  • We would never elect someone like Donald Trump as President. (But we did. Many people said it would never happen, but it happened.)

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Date of publication: November 16, 2016



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