Say - I never do it. He never does it as well.

I am not comfortable using 'never' with 'as well'. While 'as well' means 'also', in most of the negative sentences, I think 'also' fits better over 'as well'. Because I think 'as well' has a little hint of 'positivity'. So, in above sentence, 'He also never does it' seems better. Am I right?

Thank You.

  • cannot explain, but I think, 'never' with 'as well' does not go well. :( – Maulik V Feb 20 '15 at 5:30
  • Right, these are polarity items. – snailcar Feb 20 '15 at 22:04

As well and also both generally have a positive or additive connotation... along with too.

It is natural to use them in sentences that are positive/additive:

I bought my ticket to the movie. He got his as well.

I like my car. My spouse likes it also.

In the case of a negative phrase, or one that subtracts, the better choice would be:

I don't smoke. He never smokes either.

I don't have a car. He doesn't either.

As well can also imply quality, which wouldn't be much of an issue here, but just a warning.

I got an A on my test. He never does as well [as I do].

In this case it means that he never gets the same grade or better.

  • So, in the context of my sentence, 'never' does not fit with 'as well', isn't it? And I am not talking about the phrase 'as well as'. – Rucheer M Feb 20 '15 at 5:44
  • That's right, 'as well' is not the correct choice of words to go with 'never' in this context. – mwotton Feb 20 '15 at 5:50

When you connect two negative ideas, you don't use as well, also, or too. Instead, you use either. So the correct sentences are as follows:

I never do it. He never does it either.

It's incorrect grammatically if you say "I never do it. [As well] he [also] never does it".

  • Upvote. The right answer, but not quite explained. Hope my edit conveys your intent. – Brian Hitchcock Feb 20 '15 at 9:01

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