Native English Phrases With Never

We don’t just use “never” to mean “at no time”. There are many more native English phrases with “never” which you can use to sound more natural when you speak English.

Here are ten to get you started. Learning tip: choose one that you like and start using it in conversation. When you’ve mastered one, try another!

Remember to listen to the pronunciation – your stress and intonation are very important with these phrases.

Well I never!

We use this a lot to show surprise. It can sound a little old-fashioned, but you hear it mainly as an exclamation or reply to unexpected news. For example:

“Guess what – I won first prize in the race.”
“Well I never!”

Listen to the pronunciation:

Well I never!

You never!

Say this when someone tells you something and you either don’t believe them, or you’re slightly shocked. Here are two examples:

“So I told the boss that I’d report him to the police.”
“You never!” (I don’t believe you)
“You never!” (How could you do that!)

The pronunciation is really important here – you need to add a lot of feeling. (Listen to the two different ways to pronounce it.)

You never!

I never!

Use this in informal conversation if someone said you did something – and you didn’t. It means “I didn’t – honest!” For example:

“You stole the last biscuit!”
“I never!”

Listen to the pronunciation:

I never!

Never mind

This means “it doesn’t matter.” For example:

“Oh no – I forgot to get bread.”
“Oh never mind.”

Never mind

Never you mind!

This phrase has a completely different meaning from “Never mind”. In fact it means “Mind your own business!” For example:

“What are you going to get me for my birthday?
“Never you mind!”

Be careful of the pronunciation in this phrase. Listen to it here:

Never you mind!

Never again!

You can say this after a bad experience to mean that you’ll never do it again.

For example, imagine you’re telling a friend about a disaster of a holiday. Everything went wrong – the flight was late, and the hotel was terrible … At the end, you say to your friend:

“Never again”

Listen to the pronunciation here:

Never again!

Never say never

This means that something might happen – it’s not impossible. For example:

“I’m never going to get a job in journalism. It’s just too competitive.”
“Never say never! You might get a job.”

This phrase is very similar to “You never know!” which means “don’t make wrong assumptions”. For example:

“I don’t think I’ve got the job. They said they’d contact me and it’s been a week.”
“You never know – they might have had lots of applicants.”

Listen to the pronunciation:

Never say never!

Now or never!

This means that the time is now to do something. If you don’t do it now, you’ll never get another opportunity. For example:

“I’ve decided to leave my job and start my own company. It’s now or never, really.”

Now listen to the pronunciation:

Now or never!

Never a dull moment!

This means that life is never quiet, peaceful or predictable. Often we say this humorously, because we’d actually like a quiet life, but we can’t have one. For example:

“What’s it like working for him?”
“Ooh, up one day, down the next …never a dull moment!”

Listen to the pronunciation:

Never a dull moment!

Wonders never cease!

Again, this is quite a humorous expression. We say it to show surprise at something or at what someone does.

“My kids did their homework without being asked!.”
“Wonders never cease!”

Now listen to the pronunciation:

Wonders never cease!

How To Be More Interesting When You Speak

Native English Phrases With Never

Hi! I’m Clare and the founder of this site.

If you already speak English well, it’s hard to see regular progress. But one thing you can do is use more idiomatic phrases (like the ones above) to sound more natural.

I’ve got more than 100 of these natural phrases you can use in everyday speaking situations in my fluency course Real English Conversations – check it out below!