Translation:I have never heard him speak English.
"Him speak" isn't correct English, if the guy speaking is the subject of the sentence. Those words would only be found together in a more complex sentence, like, "I hear him speak."
Sometimes it's easier to understand the use of the infinitive in a first person sentence. " I am going to cook," not " I going I cook." "I plan to go on vacation." Not "I plan I go on vacation."
Same thing here.
The form "I never have heard him speak English" is used in a circumstance where, for example:
- you previously assumed that a guy could speak English...
- someone else expresses doubt about whether the guy can speak English...
- you suddenly realize with surprise that you have not, in fact, ever heard him speak English...
- for extra emphasis on the fact that you're rethinking your assumption, you say, Hm, actually, i never have heard him speak English." [Said with emphasis on "have."]
Using the two forms interchangeably, instead of for this limited purpose, is one of those subtle marks of not being a native English speaker.
Right. When an adverb is not in its usual location, that can signal a change in emphasis. You can also place "never" at the beginning of a sentence for the same effect. Never have I heard him speak English.
Given that many Brazilians do this tree for additional practice to learn English, I prefer to give simple explications and basic grammar rules.
Just to clarify, are the following sentences correct:
- Eu nunca ouvi ele falar inglês. = Eu nunca o ouvi falar inglês. = I never heard him speak English.
- Eu nunca ouvi você falar inglês. = Eu nunca te ouvi falar inglês. = I've never heard you speak English.
- Eu nunca ouvi-o falar inglês. (eu-pt) = I never heard him speak English.
- Eu nunca ouvi-te falar inglês. (eu-pt) = I've never heard you speak English.
Eu nunca ouvi ele falar inglês (colloquial and very common in spoken BrP)
Eu nunca ouvi-o falar inglês. (incorrect: "nunca" attracts the "o" next to it)
Eu nunca ouvi-te falar inglês. (incorrect because of "nunca": Eu nunca te ouvi...)
See first example - valid for EuP and BrP: https://www.portugues.com.br/gramatica/colocacao-pronominal-.html
I keep forgetting about "as palavras atrativas" and how they affect the positioning of pronouns. The content of the link you provided was of considerable help in furthering my understanding of "Próclise".
Here is another link I discovered in the process of doing research:
- Colocação pronominal http://educacao.globo.com/portugues/assunto/usos-da-lingua/colocacao-pronominal.html
Obrigado ! =)