Meaning of NEVER in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ nevə(r) ]

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


Never means at no time in the past or at no time in the future.

I have never lost the weight I put on in my teens...

Never had he been so free of worry...

That was a mistake. We’ll never do it again...

Never say that. Never, do you hear?...

He was never really healthy...

This is never to happen again.

ADV : ADV before v , ADV group / to-inf


Never means ‘not in any circumstances at all’.

I would never do anything to hurt him...

Even if you are desperate to get married, never let it show...

Divorce is never easy for children...

The golden rule is never to clean a valuable coin.

ADV : ADV before v , ADV group / to-inf


Never ever is an emphatic way of saying ‘never’.

I never, ever sit around thinking, ‘What shall I do next?’...

He’s vowed never ever to talk about anything personal in public, ever again.

PHRASE : PHR before v , be PHR group [ emphasis ]


Never is used to refer to the past and means ‘not’.

He never achieved anything...

He waited until all the luggage was cleared, but Paula’s never appeared...

I never knew the lad...

I’d never have dreamt of doing such a thing.



You say ‘ never! ’ to indicate how surprised or shocked you are by something that someone has just said. ( SPOKEN )

EXCLAM [ feelings ]


You say ‘ Well, I never ’ to indicate that you are very surprised about something that you have just seen or found out. ( OLD-FASHIONED, SPOKEN )

‘What were you up to there?’—‘I was head of the information department.’—‘Well I never!’

EXCLAM [ feelings ]


If you say that something will never do or would never do , you are saying, often humorously, that you think it is not appropriate or not suitable in some way.

It would never do to have Henry there in her apartment...

I don’t think it is an example of bad writing myself, otherwise I’d be agreeing with Leavis, and that would never do.

PHRASE : oft it PHR to-inf


never mind: see mind

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.