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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Aren't you ever going to finish

    Aren't you ever going to finish the ironing?

    This sentence comes from COLLINS ENGLISH USAGE. The Chinese translation interpretes it as 'Aren't you going to finish the iron veryt soon?'

    I doubt about the interpretation and wonder what the word 'ever' here means.
    If the interpretation is right, then can we say 'Aren't you going to finish the ironing anytime?'
    Could I ask native English teachers help me paraphrase this sentence please?

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by joham; 16-Jun-2008 at 08:11. Reason: one sentence added.

  2. #2
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    Re: Aren't you ever going to finish

    Is that ironing going to take you forever(=for all eternity)?
    "Aren't you ever going to finish..."
    'ever' : at any time, an actual time when = is there going to come a time when you will (actually) have finished the ironing?

    'Aren't you going to finish the ironing anytime?' doesn't make sense, nor does it convey the astonishment conveyed by the question, that the ironing seems to be taking the person forever to do, far longer than the speaker expected.

  3. #3
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Re: Aren't you ever going to finish

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Is that ironing going to take you forever(=for all eternity)?
    "Aren't you ever going to finish..."
    'ever' : at any time, an actual time when = is there going to come a time when you will (actually) have finished the ironing?

    'Aren't you going to finish the ironing anytime?' doesn't make sense, nor does it convey the astonishment conveyed by the question, that the ironing seems to be taking the person forever to do, far longer than the speaker expected.
    I got it. Thank you, David. The sentence means 'Are you never going to finish the ironing?', doesn't it?

  4. #4
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    Re: Aren't you ever going to finish

    Kind of. Of course they will, eventually. It is more an expression we use, as in 'aren't you ever going to finish that jigsaw' etc etc, expressing the person's feelings, surprise, astonishment, or exasperation that they seem to be taking a hell of a long time!
    It does have more the meaning of 'never' in the expression, "Aren't you ever going to learn that he can't be trusted" which is another way of saying, "Will you never learn! He just can't be trusted."

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