How correct it is saying: "I don't ever go to work by bus" instead of "I never go to work by bus" Does the meaning of these two questions change?

  • 5
    Both are correct, and there is no difference in meaning. Jul 11, 2015 at 14:27
  • Google Books confirms my gut feel that I never want to see {you again} is somewhat more common than I don't ever want to see you. If the difference in prevalence was much greater, I'd be tempted to assume the speaker must have intended something by the less-common phrasing. But there's not much difference, so it's as @StoneyB says - same meaning/connotations. Jul 11, 2015 at 18:11

3 Answers 3


Both these sentences essentially mean the same thing. If I had to choose, I think the second one is more idiomatic, and probably what I would say.

The first one is ok, but a little open-ended in my opinion. You could potentially follow it up with an exception: I don't ever go to work by bus, but I may try it this week.

The sentence with never is more final to me.

  • 1
    I think "more final" is just seeking a difference where none exists. Jul 11, 2015 at 18:12
  • @FumbleFingers: Notice the last two words...
    – CocoPop
    Jul 11, 2015 at 21:57

Either sentence is acceptable. However, be aware that the different forms "don't ever" and "never" usually have slightly different connotations. When spoken without emphasis, "never" is a simple statement of fact. To say "I never take the bus," says nothing about why you don't - it might well be that you just like to walk and the distance is short, for instance. To say "I don't ever take the bus", since you have chosen a more cumbersome phrase, suggests that you specifically avoid taking the bus, and that there is some strong motivation on your part for doing so.

Similarly, when using the phrases as part of a prohibition, "Don't (you) ever say that," is a stronger command than "Never say that," and the first suggests that if you do "say that" then the speaker will be personally upset with you.

At least, that's the AmE way I've always heard it used.


You can use ....not ever instead of never, without any difference in meaning, but the use of never is more common, especially in written English. Hence, both the sentence are correct.

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