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Serenity Carr, Assistant Editor
"I've been better" and "I've never been better"
Wednesday August 17th 2016
Question
What's the difference between "I've been better" and "I've never been better" and when is it appropriate to use the latter? — pyromojo, Thailand
Answer

"I've been better" and "I've never been better" are two common answers to the question "How have you been?" or "How are you doing?" but they mean very different things.

 

"I've been better" is used to say that you are not well, or that your day/week/month/year has not been good.

You are saying "I have been better during other times than I am today/this week/this month/this year." It is usually used as a way to avoid saying that things in your life are bad. Use this in polite conversation when you are not doing well, but it is not appropriate to complain.

 

"I've never been better" is used to say that you are doing very well, or that your day/week/month/year has been great.

You are saying "I've never been better any other time than I am now. This is the best I have ever been." This phrase is often shortened to "never better." Use this when you are feeling happy, and things are going very well in your life.

 

I hope this helps.

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