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What is the correct use "had ever" or "have never" tried it? Are both acceptable? The quote my question comes from is, "Marijuana use seems to be hovering, with about 36 percent of students saying they had ever tried it." "Had ever" just doesn't seem to come together correctly.

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'Ever' is not needed in the sentence after 'had'.

Marijuana use seems to be hovering, with about 36 percent of students saying they had tried it.

Alternatively the negative of the sentence would use 'had never'

Marijuana use seems to be hovering, with about 64 percent of students saying they had never tried it.

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    If you had ever stopped to consider this closely, you would realize that the construction sometimes is quite commonplace and unobjectionable. – Robusto Oct 16 '18 at 22:34
  • @Robusto But that's "ever" in a conditional's if-clause, and the OP isn't about them, it's about statements. – Rosie F Dec 11 '19 at 9:16
  • @RosieF: Doesn't matter. My statement that it is "commonplace and unobjectionable" stands, even in the use case you cite. – Robusto Dec 11 '19 at 13:43

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