Are both sentences equal in meaning?

"You've ever not got it"


"You've never got it"

  • Your title does not correspond with the body of your question. There are three things here You've never got it", *You've not ever got it, and You've ever not got it. Broadly they are similar, but used in different circumstances. What research have you done so far?
    – WS2
    Apr 8, 2017 at 18:54
  • Thank you. I edited it. As usual I did some googling but didn't find answer. Apr 8, 2017 at 19:04
  • 1
    @WS2 Can you explain "used in different circumstances"? From what I've googled both: "You've not ever got it" and "You've ever not got it." had never been uttered until 48min ago, at least on the internet.
    – Jakub
    Apr 8, 2017 at 19:20
  • @Jakub Schoolteacher says to pupil You've never got your book with you. The meaning is well understood. However if a pupil complains that he is being unfairly treated because he doesn't have his book, the teacher might say You've ever not got it. In other words you are always in a situation of not having your book. It would be an idiomatic form used for emphasis of some tiresome occurrence. "In Glasgow the sun is ever not shining".
    – WS2
    Apr 8, 2017 at 19:37
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    I've never heard the "ever not got" usage WS2 describes in American English. The closest I can think of would be in a question like, "Have you ever not got it?", asking a very smart person if there has been anything they didn't understand.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 8, 2017 at 20:53

3 Answers 3


For not to negate ever, the word not has to come right before ever. Never is pretty much an abbreviation of not ever.

You've never got it.

You've not ever got it.


You've ever not got it.

does not work very well. Here is why:

Google provides 2 definitions for ever:

  1. at any time.
    • "nothing ever seemed to ruffle her" synonyms: at any time, at any point, on any occasion, under any circumstances, on any account;
  2. at all times; always.
    • "ever the man of action, he was impatient with intellectuals"

The first definition of ever is common, and in that case ever will come right before the verb it modifies. It could also come right before the verbal ruffle - e.g. "Nothing seemed to ever ruffle her". The other common option with ever in this meaning is to put it at the end of the sentence - e.g. "Nothing seemed to ruffle her ever." It will sound very strange if you stick not in the middle or put ever elsewhere in the sentence, for this meaning.

So your sentence "you've ever not got it" sounds like you are trying to use the 2nd definition of ever above. What Google is not telling you is that this use of ever is rather fancy, literary, or dramatic-ish. It's not used in typical conversation or writing unless you are trying to create those moods.

  • Thank you for your answer. Basically I've tried to say that "you've never got it in the past and you'll never get it in the future. " How that sounds? Apr 9, 2017 at 14:55
  • "You aren't ever going to get it" is probably what you want to say, or "You won't ever get it." This implies you haven't gotten it in the past.
    – LawrenceC
    Apr 9, 2017 at 16:14

No, the two sentences are not equal in meaning. You might hear the second in US English conversation, though "gotten" would probably be more common than "got", and the meaning would be sufficiently clear. However, you would never hear the first. Not ever. (Note that I did not say "ever not", which is not ever said in contemporary US English.)


You've ever not got it,

You've never got it.

The meaning of never is "not at any time", whereas the meaning of ever is "at any time". So never is = not ever. You can use "not ever" instead of "never", but the use of never is more common.

The placement of the adverb is not at its correct position in the OP's sentennce; it should be between not and the verb gotten as follows:

You haven't ever gotten it = you have never gotten it.

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