Ever vs Never vs Never Ever – What’s the difference?

The words “ever”, “never”, and “never ever” can be quite complicated sometimes. Have you ever used these words interchangeably because they almost appear to be the same? Then you have mistaken them.

Ever” and “never” have meanings and usage opposite to each other. And “never ever” is a word used to apply “never” in a more emphatic way.

All three words carry different applicability and functions. Misspelling them or interchanging them can alter the meaning of the entire sentence. Let us discuss them in detail.

Ever vs Never vs Never Ever – Difference


Ever” when used as an adverb, it can mean at all times, at any time, or at all.
We usually use the word “ever” in negative sentences, where it serves as the opposite of “Always”, or in sentences that are directed towards interrogating or questioning something or someone.

Let us look at some examples;

  • Richard hasn’t ever told a lie in his life. (As the opposite of “Always”)
  • I don’t ever take any exercise. (As the opposite of “Always”)
  • Don’t ever listen to her. (As the opposite of “Always”)
  • My dog is ever ready to take a bath. (Interrogating or questioning)
  • Have you ever seen those movies? (Interrogating or questioning)

Ever” can also be used to form present perfect tenses when one is speaking about their past. For example;

  • It was the best match that I ever witnessed.
  • That was the most amusing show I ever watched.

Ever” is used in many idioms as well. The most popular ones being “happily ever after”, “ever so”, and “ever and again.”


Never” on the other hand, can mean at no time, not ever, or no to a degree or absolutely not.

We see, “Never” is the opposite of “ever”. “Never” is usually used in statements. It is a negative term and is applied in affirmative constructions. It avoids the usage of double negatives.

Let us look at some examples;

  • He never does wrong to anyone.
  • It is never going to work out.
  • You should never believe a stranger.

Never can also be used to form present perfect tenses when one is speaking about their past. For example;

  • I had never worked so hard in my life before.
  • He’s never failed a test before.

Never” is also used in idioms. The most common ones are “never mind” and “better late than never.”

Never Ever

We understood that “never” and “ever” are antonyms, and they are used in different contexts. But both these words, when used together as “never ever” can form a different scenario.

Never ever” is used to express the word “never” in a more emphatic way. It emphasizes the word “never” which means at no time. To make it simpler, when we use “never ever”, we are indicating “never” in a more forceful way, meaning certainly not.

Let us understand with some examples;

  • I never ever wanted to swim.
  • She will never ever write for you again.
  • They will never ever come again.

So we see, the words “never”, “ever”, and “never ever” have different usage and functions. While “never” and “ever” are complete opposites, “never ever” is a way to express “never” in a strong manner.

It is important to remember these subtle differences to reduce mistakes and make your grammar better.

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