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In one episode of the show Friends season 2, Rachel said to Ross:

I never wanted you more.

It confused me a lot. Does it mean I didn't want you any more or I wanted you most? How should I understand it?

2 Answers 2

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I haven't seen the show, but I managed to find a copy of the script online. The original line is actually:

Rachel: I've never wanted you more.

The literal meaning of this line is "I really want you now." It leaves out a part that is being compared in the comparative structure. The sentence in its entirety would read:

I've never wanted you more than (how much I want you) right now/this moment.

What is omitted is than I want you now. So the line in its literal meaning is an affirmative statement.

However, judging from the context, Rachel says that in a sarcastic tone. She actually means that she hates the sound Ross is making and finds it repellent.

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"Never" (not ever), means there was not an occurrence in the past. So this is saying there was not a time in the past when I wanted you more than I do now. This could be rephrased:

I want you more now than I ever did before.

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