When can we use the word "ever" and when can't we use it? - Present Perfect

We use the word "ever" with questions in the Present Perfect tense.

How do we make the Present Perfect?

Subject + has / have + Past Participle

Examples:

  1. I have been to eleven countries.
  2. I'm sorry, your plane has just taken off.
  3. She has lived in Australia for ten years.

Why do we use the Present Perfect tense? There are three reasons.

Reason 1 - In example 1. the Present Perfect is used to talk about life experiences.

Reason 2 - In example 2. the Present Perfect is used to talk about an action that happened in the past but is still important to the conversation now.

Reason 3 - In example 3. the Present Perfect is used to talk about an action that started in the past, but is not finished.

So when can we use "ever" ?

Simply, "ever" is an adverb that means "at any time". We can use the word "ever" in Present Perfect questions that are asking about our experiences - Reason 1

Examples:

  • Have you ever been to Timor?
  • Have you ever tried Vegemite?
  • Has she ever studied Indonesian?

So when can't we use "ever" ?

Don't use ever in statements.

Say: I have been to Australia.

Don't say: I have ever been to Australia.

In negative sentences it is ok to say "never".

Say: I haven't been to Australia.

Say: I have never been to Australia.

Don't say: I have ever been to Australia.

Clear as mud? For English language worksheets about IELTS.