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    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #1

    Question "I have ever"

    Is the phrase "I have ever" - such as in the sentence "I have ever seen a crocodile eating a man" - correct English?

    I've been hearing it used a lot, but only colloquially, and it sounds horribly derived from "I have never" to me...

    Thanks in advance.

  1. #2

    Re: "I have ever"

    You must have misheard the phrase. Unless if it's used in some dialect I'm not aware of, it's "I have never seen a crocodile...", or alternatively "I haven't ever seen..."

    The only way to use "I have ever seen" like this, is with inversion and with this kind of expressions:
    "This is the funniest show I have ever seen"


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 3
    #3

    Re: "I have ever"

    Nope, the phrase I'm confused about is definitely "I have ever", implying that the speaker, at some point in time, has performed whatever activity comes after the phrase.

    I've actually been having a debate with my friends over this. A large majority seem to think that it's correct usage, but as far as I know there are only two ways to use "I have ever": one is with inversion, as you pointed out, and one is in a sentence like "If I have ever offended you, please forgive me."

    Thanks for your reply!

  2. #4

    Re: "I have ever"

    Perhaps it is used in some local dialect. But at least in Standard English it's ungrammatical.

    Check the concordance sampler: http://www.collins.co.uk/Corpus/CorpusSearch.aspx

    With "have+ever+seen", there is no result other than the expected ones


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #5

    Re: "I have ever"

    Hmm... alright then. I think that about settles it. Thanks a lot for your help!

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "I have ever"

    Quote Originally Posted by ryan-d View Post
    Is the phrase "I have ever" - such as in the sentence "I have ever seen a crocodile eating a man" - correct English?
    ...
    I think you need the view of an AmE speaker; wait until the sun rises over there!

    My suspicion is that this is related to the rhetorical question 'Did you ever?', which means 'Did you ever hear anything like that?'

    b

  4. #7

    Re: "I have ever"

    Could be so, but the Collins Corpus does include American books, ephemera and radio in the search

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "I have ever"

    As well as 'Did you ever?' there's another 'ever' expression that may have some bearing on this usage: "Did I ever!" - in the sense of hearty agreement:

    'Did you have a good time last night?'
    'Did I ever - it was great!'

    (This is not standard, but it's very common in colloquial speech.)

    b

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: "I have ever"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    As well as 'Did you ever?' there's another 'ever' expression that may have some bearing on this usage: "Did I ever!" - in the sense of hearty agreement:

    'Did you have a good time last night?'
    'Did I ever - it was great!'

    (This is not standard, but it's very common in colloquial speech.)

    b
    As an AE speaker, I agree with everything that has already been posted.

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