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I read in a book lately:

This is my home and it won't ever be the same again.

I was wondering whether the proper uncontracted form would be:

This is my home and it will not ever be the same again.

Or:

This is my home and it will never be the same again.

Are all of the 3 above grammatical? Are there any differences between any of them?

I'm asking because the second sentence seems to be quite unnatural, although I can't find any reason why it should be grammatically incorrect. The same would apply to I would not ever ..., but again, I have no idea why.

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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Won’t is certainly a contraction of will not (well, actually, the earlier woll not) and all three sentences are grammatical, including the second one. Ernest Hemingway wrote in ‘Across The River And Into The Trees’:

I will get into the motoscafo . . .and . . . we will not ever see one another again.

There is no difference in meaning between the three, but each might be used on different occasions.

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The only contraction in that sentence is won't, which (always) means will not. None of the other words would be affected when you expand the contraction.

Thus, ...will not ever be the same is the proper way to understand this sentence.

That said, ...will never be the same is grammatical, as well. In speech, people either use the contracted version or the will never combination. Rarely do you hear someone say (in US English) will not ever.

All three versions, however, are grammatically correct and are identical in meaning.

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This is primarily because "will not ever" is awkward to say. –  Karl Knechtel Nov 26 '11 at 8:56
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+1 to me, "will not ever" places an extra emphasis on "not" and thus could enjoy extra effect. –  Terry Li Nov 26 '11 at 14:39
    
Will not ever seems redundant; why use three words when two will do? –  Rant Nov 27 '11 at 4:28
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