Do You Need a Comma Before or After 'NEVER'?

We do not generally put a comma before or after the adverb “never” to separate it from the verb it modifies. But use a comma to separate two instances of this word for emphasis.

We do not generally put a comma before or after the adverb “never” to separate it from the verb it modifies.

We should never forget the cost of war.

We should never, forget the cost of war.

But use a comma to separate two instances of this word for emphasis.

A true friend never, never walks away when times get tough.

1. In General, Do Not Use a Comma Before or After ‘Never’

Typically, we place “never” before the main verb, after the first auxiliary verb, or after the verb to be.

I never eat between meals. (Before the main verb)

She has never been to Paris. (After the first auxiliary verb)

Learning a new language is never easy. (After the verb to be)

We do not generally use a comma before or after “never” to separate the adverb from the rest of the sentence.

I have never seen such a degree of sophistication.

I have never, seen such a degree of sophistication.

In questions, we usually put “never” between the subject and the main verb.

Have you never heard of it?

In the middle of a sentence, you can occasionally find “never” in different positions.

We never should have done it.

We should have never done it.

These sentences are correct, but as mentioned above, we often place this adverb of frequency after the first auxiliary verb.

We should never have done it.

In extremely formal situations or literary language, we can use “never” at the start of a sentence—with no comma. When we do this, we invert the auxiliary and the subject.

Never had she seen such a beautiful beach before.

We do not use “never” at the end of a sentence.

2. Exceptions

There is an exception to this practice of not using a comma before or after “never”. We always insert a comma to separate two instances of the same adverb for emphasis.

I’ll never, never do it again.

Never ever” is another emphatic way of saying “never”. This expression is only used in spoken language or informal situations. Do not use a comma to separate these two words.

I would never ever harm my sister.

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