In these sentences:

A: I've never seen an elephant yet.
B: I've never seen any elephant yet.

Which article fits better?


Neither article will improve the sentence. You have a clash between have never (negated experiential perfective) and yet (implying that a sighting is expected soon).

You can say I haven't seen any elephant yet in a situation where you are expecting to see one or more elephants (but it doesn't say anything about your lifetime experience). You can say I have never seen an elephant when you want to speak about your own life experience (perhaps explaining why you are excited about a potential sighting).

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    I think you've nailed it. We'd use any on a safari, but an when we have yet to see an elephant in our lifetime. – J.R. May 4 '19 at 18:22
  • so if i remove "yet" from the sentence, the only true way is to use "an". Am i right ? – berkyykreb May 4 '19 at 18:25
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    Any elephants (plural). – Jason Bassford May 4 '19 at 18:31
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    @berkyykreb you'd say I've never seen any elephant if you want to be emphatic, for example if people are skeptical of your earlier claims of not having seen an elephant. maybe they thought you were deceiving them originally because you had seen a Burmese elephant, though most people are thinking of African elephants; and you want to clarify. But the point is it's a very specific circumstance that it's felicitous to say that. – user79784 May 4 '19 at 19:42
  • @jlovegren Do you mean You have a clash between ..... or am I missing something? – Ronald Sole May 4 '19 at 22:03

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