HomeQ&AHow do I say, "Have you ever?"

How do I say, "Have you ever?"

4
votes

How do I say, "Have you ever" as part of a phrase? I understand that "alguna vez" would be the equivalent for "ever," but do I need to use it every time I ask?

For example, which is the better translation for "Have you ever wished for an endless night"?

¿Alguna vez has deseado una noche sin fin?

o

¿Has deseado una noche sin fin?

Thanks for any help you can provide! If there are any other suggestions you have regarding tense, I'm open to those, too! smile

34920 views
updated JUL 18, 2010
posted by mapletw

2 Answers

6
votes

¿Alguna vez has deseado que... ??? gets about 42,000 hits on google

"¿Has deseado alguna vez..." ???? about 92,000


Oxford Starter Spanish Dictionary

Alguna vez ? Ever
¿has montado alguna vez en globo?
have you ever been up in a balloon?

The University of Chicago Spanish-English Dictionary 5th ed.

Ever ? Alguna vez
Have you ?? studied French?
¿Alguna vez has estudiado francés?

Merriam-Webster's Spanish-English Dictionary

Ever 2. (in questions): alguna vez, algún día
Have you ever been to Mexico?
¿Has estado en México alguna vez?

Pocket Oxford Spanish Dictionary

Ever ? (at any time):
have you ~ visited London?
¿has estado en Londres (alguna vez)?;


All of these sources seem to confirm that your original usage alguna vez is likely a correctly constructed sentence; however, if what you are asking is whether the alguna vez is necessary then it might help to consider what effect the adverb ever/alguna vez actually has on the sentence. As an adverb, it makes the sentence more specific, i.e. it provides a description of when the action might have taken place. To make this a bit clearer, try comparing the following sentences in terms of specificity (in regards to the question of "when"), and see if you can note the difference.

• Have you wanted the night to last forever?
• Have you ever wanted the night to last forever?

• Have you, in the last three days, wanted the night to last forever?
• Have you ever, in the last three days, wanted the night to last forever?

• Have you, in your adult life, wanted the night to last forever.?
• Have you ever, in your adult life, wanted the night to last forever?

updated JUL 18, 2010
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
Thank you so much for your help. I think, given the translation I am trying to obtain, alguna vez will be necessary. Now I just have to determine the placement! - mapletw, JUL 17, 2010
Great answer Izi. Not much lacking there. - Eddy, JUL 18, 2010
3
votes

Well covered by Iza but just a little extra on the positive vs negative construction of 'ever' (or never)

¿Has probado el chocolate alguna vez?

Have you ever tried chocolate?

¿No has probado el chocolate ninguna vez?

Haven't you ever tried chocolate?

Regarding your comment regarding construction of the sentence - where to put the 'alguna vez' both are probably just fine - as they would be in English. Are you ever coming home? Are you coming home ever? Although depending on where you're from one would be more common.

Alguna vez vas a volver a casa?

updated JUL 18, 2010
posted by Kiwi-Girl
Ahhh...it was great to give the negative AND positive constructions. - --Mariana--, JUL 18, 2010
Thank you for the additional clarification! - mapletw, JUL 18, 2010
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