ever-and-how-long-abaenglish

How to use “ever” & “how long”

Hello again ABA friends!

Let’s look at two very common expressions in the English language:

  • Ever
  • How long

Both these expressions are very important to learn and master, especially if you want to form question correctly in English.

Let’s start with the expression “ever”

  • Have you ever been to Japan?
  • Yes, I have

The expression “ever” is used in questions and has the same meaning as “up until now.” Notice that the form we are using ever with is the present perfect form which is “have/has+the past participle form of the verb.”

Remember that the expression “ever” always goes between the subject and the main verb when asking a question.

  • Have you ever been to Japan?

When responding to a question in the present form we would reply:

  • Have you ever eaten octopus?
  • Yes, I have

And in the negative form we would say:

  • Have you ever been to Spain?
  • No I haven’t or No, never

Remember that never is used only for negative statements or responses to questions and is positioned after the auxiliary verb “have” in the long form.

  • I have never been to Spain

Let’s take a look at the expression “how long”

The expression “how long” is used in questions to ask about the duration of something or to measure time. For example:

  • How long have you you lived in Spain?
  • How long have you studied English?

Notice that again the expression “how long” is used with the present perfect form to show that the action is still true in the present moment.

  • How long have you lived in Spain? (you are still living in Spain at the time of asking)

However, the expression “how long” can also be used with the past simple form and the auxiliary verb “did” to find out about a past action or event which is finished.

  • How long did you live in Spain?  (you don’t live there anymore)

How long did you study English? (you don’t study anymore)

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About Brandon

Brandon
Brandon has been teaching ESL students for over 12 years and has taught in India, Cambodia, Brazil and Spain. In his free time, he enjoys writing music, playing his guitar and travelling.

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