What is the difference between the three?

Specifically, I always thought that "yet" has an implied "never". Is this not true?

Edit: No sources or research material here listed because I was unable to find a site that explains these adverbs in these orders or contrast them.

If you would like to suggest a site, I'd happily oblige. Moderators: I could move it to English Learners Stacks, as you guys have suggested for my previous questions, but answers have been less than helpful in past experiences. (I.e. "It depends on context" - with no further explanation of context).

  • These were seen through my readings, I've noted them but not the page nor the book. Every site I've gone to defines words individually but not in order stated in the question, nor does the sites contrast them. If you can suggest an alternative answer site, that would be helpful. Nov 13, 2016 at 3:21
  • I recommend looking at a reputable website like those you get by searching onelook.com and comparing senses. For example, never, ever, and yet from Oxford Online. You could read those, then quote them here, saying what’s missing. Be aware that both ever and yet are often negative-polarity-items, which is a very large topic that often confuses L2 learners of English. However, sometimes they are not such.
    – tchrist
    Nov 13, 2016 at 3:31
  • Hmm not sure if it's my profile photo but I keep getting suggestions for English learners from you moderators. Grammatical mistakes in comments are typos / shorthand / overlooked corrections from typing on a phone -- not out of ignorance. Noted on the negative polarity items. Thanks for the tip. Nov 13, 2016 at 3:57
  • In “Flaubert Triggers, Squatitive Negation, and Other Quirks of Grammar”, linguist Laurence R. Horn writes: Despite the considerable progress that has been achieved over the last two decades, the bad news is that we know squat about the proper treatment of negation and polarity. But then, by the Law of the Excluded Middle, the good news must be that we don't know squat about the proper treatment of negation and polarity. Note that our own John Lawler is a citable authority in this peculiar area of the English Language.
    – tchrist
    Nov 13, 2016 at 4:03
  • 2
    Not sure where you would have gotten the idea that "yet" implies "never". "Is he back yet?" certainly doesn't imply that he's never coming back.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 13, 2016 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


In “there has never yet been…” the word “yet” has no function except emphasis; try replacing it… In “… no man ever yet did…” the word “yet” has no function except emphasis. However, the phrase would almost never be used except in a question, as for instance “Has there ever yet been such an example?” “… yet…” makes no difference unless it is a more relaxed version, as in “Has there yet been such an example?”

Also, the difference is either between two or among any more than two options.

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