What is the difference between "I never was" and "I was never"? It seems that there is a subtle difference, but I can't quite grasp it. Is one of them informal?
- I never was a good cook.
- I was never a good cook.
I never was a good cook.
Possible context: Lisa's mother-in-law has pressured her to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for the extended family. Lisa has reluctantly agreed. She made an honest try but made a key mistake and the turkey was a failure. "Well, you know, I never was a good cook."
I was never a good cook.
Possible context: Margaret, in her eighties and living in a nursing home, is being interviewed by a gerontology student. She confides to the student, "I was never a good cook."
I never was a good cook. That sentence shows me that negative emotional answer which means the person never become a good cook. Whereas the other sentence;
I was never a good cook. Shows me that the person is denying something, he knowns already by using no.
"I never was that vulnerable"
Here we are highlighting the never. A strong emotion of past. Now, I am vulnerable, and it seems not good. A negative emotion.
"I was never that vulnerable."
Here it is lacking that strong emotion and is more like a simple statement. I'm vulnerable now, but it's no big deal.
Both mean the same but it's little decoration to highlight negative emotion.
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