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    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #1

    never can be...

    Hello.

    Can Ricky Rubio challenge Blake Griffin as top pick in NBA draft? - Scott Howard-Cooper - SI.com
    The Celtics can never be called plucky, and certainly not the Celtics as defending champions. But ...

    1. The Celtics can never be called plucky...
    2. The Celtics never can be called plucky...

    Is either way fine?


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #2

    Re: never can be...

    Sentence #2 is not ungrammatical. Nevertheless, use #1.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #3

    Re: never can be...

    CNN.com - In the hot seat - Feb. 2, 2004
    Each show is only 30 minutes long, but you never can be sure what will happen.

    Now Barry Bonds could wind up alongside Pete Rose in - 03.13.06 - SI Vault
    Whether Bonds never hits another home run or hits 48 more, which would give him the most of all time, he never can be regarded with honor or full legitimacy.

    It seems that "never can be" is common even if it's not grammatical, doesn't it?


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #4

    Re: never can be...

    "AmE" never can be (3310 hits):
    "never can be" - NYTimes.com Search

    "AmE" can never be (>10k hits)
    "can never be" - NYTimes.com Search

    "global?" can never be (9.9 million hits)
    Google

    never can be 382k hits:
    Google

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2005
    • Posts: 2,585
    #5

    Re: never can be...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    1. The Celtics can never be called plucky...
    2. The Celtics never can be called plucky...

    Is either way fine?
    The word order in the second version is less usual, as Svart suggests. This puts more emphasis on the "never".

    (Both however are grammatical.)

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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