Difference between No and Never

Key difference: No means no, well to be exact it is a negative response to something, indicating that the person does not want to do what the person is indicating. Never’ indicates something that won’t ever happen, whereas ‘no’ indicates that something won’t happen at the moment, but may happen in the future.

NoNo and Never are two different words in English, which at first glance can look like they have the same meaning. However, that is not the case. The do have similar meanings but they are not the same.

Both words do have something to do with a negative response to something or someone, however, the implication that the two words have is quite different.

No means no, well to be exact it is a negative response to something, indicating that the person does not want to do what the person is indicating. For example: “Do you want to go to the party?” “No.” The no indicates that the person does not want to go the party. In this instance, no would be the same as “I do not want to go to the party.”

Similarly, if the person had answered as “never,” the implication would be completely different. It would still be a negative response, but even more negative than ‘no’. For example: “Do you want to go to the party?” “Never.” This indicates that the person will never want to go to a party, i.e. at no point in the future nor in their life, will the person want to go to a party.

NeverPerhaps a better example would be: “Would you lie for me.” “Never!” This indicates that I won’t ever lie for you in my life. Hence, it can be seen that ‘never’ has more negative impact and a longer lasting impression than  just ‘no’. ‘Never’ indicates something that won’t ever happen, whereas ‘no’ indicates that something won’t happen at the moment, but may happen in the future. For example: “the sun is never cold”, as opposed to “no, the tea is not cold.” Here, the implication is that there won’t be a time when the sun will be cold, whereas the tea is not cold now, but may be cold in about ten minutes.

Comparison between No and Never:

 

No

Never

Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)

Not any.

Used to give a negative response.

A negative answer or decision

At no time in the past or future; not ever.

Not at all.

Purpose

To indicate that the person does not want to do something

To indicate that the person will not want to that thing ever, i.e. at no point in the future.

Indication

Negative response

Extremely negative response

Implication

Temporary

Long lasting, ideally forever

Etymology

Old English nō, nā (adverb), from ne ‘not’ + ō, ā ‘ever’, reduced from non, from Old English nān (see none).

Old English nǣfre, from ne ‘not’ + ǣfre ‘ever’.

Examples

No, I don’t want to go.

No, I don’t want to eat.

No, I won’t listen to you.

No, I want to go see a movie.

The sun can never be cold.

The earth can never be flat.

I will never leave you.

I finally finished, and I never want to do that again.

I repeated the test a hundred times, and never saw a positive result.

I will never tell.

Reference: Wikipedia, Oxford Dictionaries (No and Never), Wiktionary (No and Never)
Image Courtesy: astrologycircle.com, giphy.com

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