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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Is 'ever' correctly used?

    My teacher has ever said that she doesn't enjoy teaching.

    Is 'ever' correctly used?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    dragn is offline Member
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    Re: Is 'ever' correctly used?

    My teacher has ever said that she doesn't enjoy teaching.

    Is 'ever' correctly used?
    No. It's wrong (and classic Chinese English, incidentally). In a positive sentence using present perfect, you can't use ever after the have/has like this. Ever should only be used in a present perfect question or negative statement.

    Have you ever been to Japan?

    She hasn't ever called me.
    (Which is grammatically equivalent to saying never, of course.)

    But NOT:

    I have ever been to Japan. X

    She has ever called me.
    X


    Here are a couple other miscellaneous ways to use it:

    If you're ever in Chicago, look me up!

    Ever the gentleman, Tom gave up his seat to an elderly woman.


    Greg

  3. #3
    jctgf is offline Key Member
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    Re: Is 'ever' correctly used?

    how about "My teacher has always said that she doesn't enjoy teaching."?
    thanks

  4. #4
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    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Thumbs up Re: Is 'ever' correctly used?

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    how about "My teacher has always said that she doesn't enjoy teaching."?
    thanks
    Perfectly fine.

  5. #5
    dragn is offline Member
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    Re: Is 'ever' correctly used?

    how about "My teacher has always said that she doesn't enjoy teaching."?
    Yes, it's perfectly fine. However, be aware that it's almost certainly not what the speaker means in this case. "My teacher has always said that she doesn't enjoy teaching," although correct, means that she has habitually said that for a long time.

    When speakers of Chinese say "My teacher has ever said that she doesn't enjoy teaching," that's not what they mean. They just mean "My teacher has said that she doesn't enjoy teaching." They mistakenly include the word ever because the Chinese word that corresponds to ever can also be used in positive statements in addition to questions (my Taiwanese wife's explanation, not mine! ) That's why this is such a prevalent, characteristic mistake for speakers of Chinese.

    Greg

  6. #6
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Re: Is 'ever' correctly used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    My teacher has ever said that she doesn't enjoy teaching.

    Is 'ever' correctly used?
    What about "My teacher once said that she didn't enjoy teaching"?

    (What I wanted to mean in the original sentence with 'ever' is she did say once.)

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    dragn is offline Member
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    Re: Is 'ever' correctly used?

    What about "My teacher once said that she didn't enjoy teaching"?
    Perfect.

    Greg

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