If someone ask me to teach something but I want to tell them I never do it before

What's I should say and what's the difference between these sentences

I never learn it

I have/had never learn it

I never learned it

I have/had never leaned it

Thanks in advance!

  • Based on context I think some more useful sentences may be "I haven't studied that yet" and "We weren't taught that." "Never learn" means "continue to not learn" and "never learned" means to "continued to not learn" (but maybe learned since then or it just doesn't matter anymore), thus it's common to hear something like "I didn't learn about X until Y (happened)." Learned implies skill, as in, "I never learned to ride a bike." "I haven't studied X yet," means you have yet to dedicate time to gaining knowledge about X. "We weren't taught about X" means no one ever made you study or learn it May 13, 2020 at 16:29

2 Answers 2


The fourth one is correct "I have never learned it"

The first is the present form, though it's not often used, in fact I can't think when I would say "I never learn it"

The second if not correct grammar

The third is a correct past perfect form, "I never learned it" and you could use this ad well. You might use it if you were explaining for example that you were never taught how to drive, so you might say "I never learnt how to drive". But if you are saying I was never taught French you might say "I have never learned French" I think you can use these forms interchangeably.


Using the Present Perfect with never is explained on Should I always use the perfect present, when the sentence uses "never"?

In short, you could say:

When I was in Paris, I never learned how to say "thank you" in French.

I have never learned Spanish.

The second sentence means I didn't learn Spanish in the past, and I have still to learn Spanish nowadays.
The first sentence is referring to something happened in a specific moment in the past. I could have learned how to say "thank you" in French later, or I could still not know how to say "thank you" in French; the second sentence doesn't say anything about that.

The Simple Present should be used for something that keeps happening. Imagine I have the habit to say something I should not say, and somebody get angry with me for that reason. I could then say "I never learn to keep my mouth shut."

Other examples could be the following ones.

I never learn those speeches of Hamlet.

I never learn from my mistakes.

In the last two sentences, the meaning of learn is different. In the first one, it means "to study and repeat something in order to be able to remember it"; in the second one, it means "to gradually change attitudes about something to behave in a different way."

  • Excellent! But those Hamlet's speeches is not idiomatic. A possessive acts as a determiner, and you can't have two determiners on an NP; you have to say "those speeches from Hamlet" (if you mean the play) or "those speeches of Hamlet's" (if you mean the Prince himself). Aug 25, 2013 at 14:55
  • I rephrased one of the OALD's examples: "We have to learn one of Hamlet's speeches for school tomorrow."
    – apaderno
    Aug 25, 2013 at 15:07
  • Ah, but that has only one determiner: "one" isn't a quantifier (=determiner) but a pronoun, modified by a prepositional phrase. ... What you're aiming at here, I think, is "I'll never learn &c"; the simple present suggests you've been trying more or less permanently for a long time. Aug 25, 2013 at 15:13

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