0

In a group chat today, I wrote "Do you ever see him anymore" and one of my peers pointed out it wasn't grammatically sound. I found nothing wrong with that statement, but he went on to state the issue was with my use of ever and anymore in the same sentence. He was unable to explain any further why it would be wrong, and I can understand that since like most people, I can usually identify poor grammar simply because it does not "sound right" while unable to explain why.

If there is something wrong with that phrase, can someone please explain why?

  • 3
    Your peer is wrong. There is nothing ungrammatical or otherwise wrong about your sentence. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 25 '18 at 10:05
1

Although some definitions of those words are indeed similar, in this sentence they have different meanings that have their own specific functions.

ever: at any time in the past, present, or future

anymore: any longer; still; now or from now on; nowadays

Using just ever without anymore doesn't specify the time period and assumes all time.

Adding anymore specifies that you mean "at present" or "after a particular event."

  • But 'anymore' subsumes the restricted sense of 'ever' available here. The past and future reference is precluded. – Edwin Ashworth May 8 '18 at 9:30
0

Using both 'ever' and 'anymore' is redundant - but it's not wrong.
I would usually delete 'ever'. However, I might use it if I said 'ever', or wrote it in italics, to particularly stress it.

  • 1
    I don’t see what’s redundant about it. The two words mean entirely different things; leaving either out changes the meaning of the sentence. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 25 '18 at 10:03
0

It might be possible to argue that "Do you ever see him anymore" wasn't a problem but it surely is unidiomatic. There are several ways to put that without irritating anyone's ears…

"Do you ever see him?”

"Do you see him anymore?”

"Do you never see him anymore"

"Do you never see him?”

It’s easy to imagine anyone saying "Do you ever see him anymore?” if his tongue is running ahead of his thoughts. In the dictionary “ever” and “anymore” also have several different meanings but in this context they’re interchangeable; leaving either out clarifies everything while changing nothing.

  • If "Do you never see him anymore" is OK, then "Do you ever see him anymore" is also OK. – Rosie F Apr 8 '18 at 7:35
  • It’s true that double positive isn’t remotely close to being as bad as “never no more” and that no native would misunderstand and still strictly, and particularly in writing, "ever… anymore" is tautological. In ordinary casual speech of course it don’t matter and what do you suppose were the purposes first of Will’s group chat and then of his Question? – Robbie Goodwin Apr 8 '18 at 15:36
  • @Rosie F Not a good game to play. 'I never watch 'Eastenders' works, but 'I ever watch Eastenders' doesn't. And shouldn't 'span and spick' work if arguing from analogy is always justifiable? There are good points in this answer, though 'Do you see him anymore' entails knowledge that the addressee once saw X whereas 'Do you ever see him?' doesn't. – Edwin Ashworth May 8 '18 at 9:27
  • @EdwinAshworth I don't know what game you think I'm playing, but your analogy fails. "I ever watch Eastenders" fails because, barring poetic style, "ever" is a negative-polarity item, but nothing in that sentence licenses an NPI. Questions do license NPIs, so "Do you ever see him anymore" is OK if you accept one-word "anymore". I didn't claim that "arguing from analogy is always justifiable", and anyway "span and spick" has nothing to do with Robbie's answer or my comment. – Rosie F May 10 '18 at 6:37
  • @Rosie F Explained. Indiscriminate arguing from analogy. Or, if you say that you'd already thought out the subtleties here, giving the impression that indiscriminate arguing from analogy is acceptable. I could come up with "If 'Inconsolable, John left the room' is OK, then 'Sad, John left the room' is OK" [which really, without caveat, pragmatically implies equally idiomatic]. If the analogy is tightened by other considerations (which you now have done), it may become more acceptable as an argument (I would have to mention weight of absolute-construction adjective in my example). – Edwin Ashworth May 10 '18 at 9:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.