“he answered and said.” The original text has the phrase, “answered and said” more than 100 times in the Bible, and it can sometimes be confusing because it is often used when no one asked a question. The phrase is an idiom, but it has a literal overtone behind it. The person who “answered and said” may not have been answering a direct question from someone, but they were answering and addressing the situation that was presenting itself before them (see commentary on Matt. 11:25).
“will ever eat.” The Greek word translated “eat” is phagō (#5315 φάγω (φάγομαι)), in the optative mood, but as Lenski points out in his commentary, here the optative is equivalent to the imperative mood, a command. Jesus is not saying, “May no one eat,” as if he was making a request, but rather, “No one will eat!” He is commanding something to happen. He is cursing the fig tree [For “curse,” see Mark 11:21 and see commentary on Luke 6:28]. A. Nyland (The Source New Testament) gets the sense correctly: “No one will ever eat fruit from you again!”