In the following sentence can "never" be replaced with "not even once"

I had never embroidered such a pattern in the class.

I had not embroidered such a pattern even once in the class.

Actually I have used the word "never" many times already. I searched Internet and found many phrases but "not once" seemed suitable to me.

  • 3
    You say you've used the word "never" many times already. But if that's the right word for the context, just keep using it. Randomly switching to different words with the same or similar meanings isn't a mark of good writing, even with people who have a wide enough vocabulary that they can do this everywhere without asking for help or leafing through dictionaries. Note that it's perfectly idiomatic to say I've never once done that, or I've never done that even once if you want to be more emphatic. Or I've never ever done it to be even more emphatic. Commented Dec 14, 2021 at 14:20
  • Your usage of not even once is a bit clumsy. I would rather read the word never again. This would be the first time.... is a another way of saying never before. Annie had never ridden a bike before [today]. Today would be Annie's first time riding a bike.
    – EllieK
    Commented Dec 14, 2021 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


Technically, "never" = "not even once".

"not even once" is just a way of adding emphasis.

And, because it is used for emphasis, the phrase "not even once" should not be split.

Example: "I did not even once embroider such a pattern in class."

Occasionally, for even more emphasis, you will hear "I never did [action]. Not even once."

Example: "I never [embroidered such a pattern in class]. Not even once."

  • Close. "Never" = "not once". "Even" adds emphasis without changing the meaning
    – gotube
    Commented Dec 17, 2021 at 5:35

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