While reading some quotes from a book, I came across a quote consisting of the phrase whose structure I found hard to figure out.

"You're so slow. I'm surprised you ever get anywhere."
(From Aesop's fables)

Does this sentence roughly mean "I'll be surprised if you ever get anywhere"? If it does, could you give me some examples like this one?


  • 2
    There’s no future implied. It’s a simple present tense, and that’s what it means. Obviously, the tortoise, despite being slow, does manage to get somewhere some of the time. The hare is making a hyperbolic statement that he is surprised the tortoise ever manages to get to any place at all, at any time, when it’s so slow in moving. Nov 25 '14 at 13:10
  • You "misparse" the cited text. Assume a deleted that rather than if after surprised. Nov 25 '14 at 13:57

Because you are very slow, it surprises me that, at any time, you can get anywhere.

"ever" (adv) Merriam-Webster

  • at any time - "I love you more than ever before."

  • in any way - "How can I ever thank you for that?"

Look at these similar examples:

  • I wonder whether this kind of question has ever been asked before.
  • Did it ever occur to you that I might disapprove?
  • Don't you ever regret letting him go away.

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