How do I use EVER?

Ever = at any time

Ever usually means at "any time" and can be used to refer to past, present and future situations. The opposite, meaning at no time, is never. Ever is mainly used in questions. Sometimes it is used in negative sentences (not ever) as an alternative to never.


Were you ever in the Boy Scouts?  
No, I never was. 

Have you ever been to Florida?
Yes, I was there once, but it was years ago.

Will you ever speak to her again?
No, I don't think I ever will.

If you ever need any help, just give me a ring.

Ever : for emphasis

We sometimes use ever to give emotive emphasis to what we are saying as an indication that we feel very strongly about it. Thus, in speech, ever receives strong word stress:

If I ever catch you cheating on me again, I’ll kill you.

Don't ever do that again!

How ever did you manage to drive home through so much snow?

When ever will I find time to prepare my homework?

Why ever did he marry such a bad woman?

Ever = always?

We do not often use ever to mean always, that is, on every occasion or all the time. We have to say:

I always bike to work now. It's so much healthier. (Not: I ever bike to work now. It's so much healthier.)

Compare the difference in meaning between these two example sentences. In the first sentence, they often agree, but not on every occasion. In the second sentence, they never agree:

My husband and I don't always agree about the best way to raise children.

My husband and I don't ever agree about the best way to raise children.

But occasionally, ever is used to mean always. We sometimes end informal letters with Yours ever or Ever yours.  Here Ever yours means Always yours.

And in these contexts too, in which we are indicating that a person has particular qualities, ever is used to mean always:

Let me open the door for you. 
Ever the gentleman!

I always wear loose-fitting clothes like this.  
Ever the hippie!

We also use ever in compound expressions with adjectives and participles.
His ever-open mouth.
An ever-increasing debt.
His ever-loving wife.

2 comentários:

  1. Oi Cristina! Tive dias atribulados nos últimos meses mas estou voltando para o curso, e aproveitei para dar mais uma viajada pelo seu Blog, e confesso ameiiiiii todo o material acessível!
    Mts Bjssss,

  2. Anônimo06:28





Deixe aqui o seu comentário. As suas dúvidas podem ser as dúvidas de outras pessoas!