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I wonder if I can use "ever" in place of "more and more". For example, do the following two sentences have the same meaning?

  • Software is getting more and more complex.
  • Software is getting ever complex.
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While your premise is correct, the example seems a bit odd. Consider: 'Software is becoming ever so complex.' –  Kris Apr 30 '12 at 15:03
+1. Good point. –  Kris Apr 30 '12 at 15:05
Why is this getting close votes? The question seems clear. –  Matt Эллен Apr 30 '12 at 15:27
@Matt: My closevote is because it's general reference that ever doesn't mean more and more. Personally I didn't read OP's erroneous second example as missing the word "so" - I saw it as missing the word "more". –  FumbleFingers Apr 30 '12 at 15:50
Reference for the meanings of ever. The meaning of more and more is definition 10. –  Matt Эллен Apr 30 '12 at 16:00
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closed as general reference by jwpat7, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, FumbleFingers, John Lawler, Matt Эллен Apr 30 '12 at 15:57

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3 Answers

As Kris notes, you should say "getting ever so complex" rather than "ever complex".

But that said, why? "ever so" is a pretty archaic phrase. Frankly, if you use it, you'll sound like a 90-year-old lady.

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It's slightly literary but it's fine in formal writing.

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I don't get this. Are you seriously suggesting that "Software is getting ever complex" could ever be spoken/written by a competent native speaker? –  FumbleFingers Apr 30 '12 at 15:52
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I would suggest "Software is getting ever more complex" or "Software is getting more and more complex" as being more correct. Your latter example sounds awkward/wrong.

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Or even, "increasingly complex". –  Brad Apr 30 '12 at 15:50
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