never went vs have never gone vs never go

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newlearn

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Never means not at any time. If something never happened, it didn't happen at all. So, it has to be the simple past tense. However, I've heard that other tenses are possible. For example,

(1) I never went to a movie.

(2) I have never gone to a movie.

(3) I never go to a movie.

I think it doesn't matter what tense is used, the three sentences above mean that you don't go to a movie at all. So, why can't you just use the simple past all the time. Could someone please explain the usage of "never"? Thank you very much.
 

emsr2d2

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In BrE, 1 is unnatural, 2 means that so far you have never been to see a movie at the cinema but you might do so in the future, and 3 suggests that you have never been and probably never will.

Also note that in BrE, we'd say "I've never been/I never go to the cinema".
 

GoesStation

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If you extend sentence 1, you can use the simple past: I never went to a movie ​when I lived in London.
 
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