In here, https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=how%20to%20say%20never%20in%20mandarin It says that to say never, you say, "Cónglái méiyǒu", but another website, which is this one, http://eteacherchinese.com/Chinese-Dictionary/never-0 says that you should say, "cónglái méi", so, how do you say 'never' in Mandarin Chinese?

  • There is more than one way to skin a cat, and to express 'never', depends on what you want to say. Look up never in a Chinese English dictionary, or get some ideas here: dj.iciba.com/never
    – Pedroski
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 3:37
  • And I was taught cónglái bu, which I find on line but mostly in songs. Is that okay? Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 2:44
  • 2
    The difference between conglai bu and conglai mei(you) is one of time. Conglai bu means you never do (something). You never eat broccoli; you never gossip... etc. Conglai mei(you) means you have never done (something) up to now. For example, you have never learned Chinese before, but you may start tomorrow.
    – monalisa
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 20:31

5 Answers 5


There is seldom a one-on-one word translation that will work in all contexts. "从来没有 | cónglái méiyǒu" or "从来没 | cónglái méi" works if you're talking about something that has never happened up to the present time.

我从来没学过中文. (Wǒ cónglái méi xuéguò Zhōngwén - I have never learned Chinese.)

If you want to talk about the future, as in "something will never happen", you need a different expression altogether.

他永远不会来. (Tā yǒngyuǎn bù huì lái - He will never come.)

So, my suggestion is, if you're looking for a word meaning, at least provide a context.


Short answer: as a native speaker, I recommend the first one

Long answer:

You can use the first one in almost all scenarios ant it would sound okay. The second one is more commonly used with in a sentence before the verb, but if "Never" is the full response of a question, the first one would be better. I think this is because the second one is the shortcut for the first one, but in as a sentence itself, it would sound a bit unnatural to me, not that it is wrong or others won't understand you.


从来没有 and 从来没 are the same thing


我永远不会... would mean: I will never...

You use that when you would never do something.

Ex. 我永远不会玩足球。 (Translation: I will never play soccer.)


绝不 or 绝对不会 or 绝对不干

I think 绝 more closely conveys the sense of "never".

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