Posts Tagged ‘always’

Using ever

August 20th, 2011 in English Grammar

Ever means at any time. It is mainly used in questions.

Have you ever been to Africa?

Ever does not mean always.
I will always remember you. (NOT I will ever remember you.)

However, ever can mean always in some expressions. Examples are: ever-increasing weight, evergreen, ever-loving wife etc

Ever also means always in expressions like forever, ever since, ever after and Yours ever.

I will love you forever. (= I will always love you.)

Ever is sometimes used in negative sentences, but never is more common than not ever.

I don’t ever want to talk to you again. (More common: I never want to talk to you again.)

Ever can be used in affirmative clauses after superlatives and only.

That is the best book I have ever read.
You are the most beautiful person I have ever met.
She is the only woman ever to have won this award twice.

When used with a present perfect tense, ever means ‘at any time up to now’.

Have you ever been to the US?

Ever, always and never
Ever means ‘at any time’. Always means ‘every time’. Never means ‘at no time’.

Have you ever been to New Zealand on holiday? (= at any time)
We always go to New Zealand on holiday. (= every time)
We have never been to New Zealand on holiday. (= at no time)