Global English for students

Global English for Global Students

Always, sometimes, never…

2 Comments

When we teach present simple in class, we tell you that you can use these words:

always
often
sometimes
never

This is true.  But, did you know that you can use them with any of the tenses?

Here are some examples:

He is always coming late.     (Present progressive)

He always comes late.  (Present simple)

He has always been late.  (Present perfect)

He was always late to class.  (Past simple)

He was always coming late to class.  (Past progressive)

He’ll always come late to class.  (“Will” future)

He is always going to come late to class (“going to” future)

Why?  Well, in class we teach you that you can use “always, sometimes, never”, because it’s easy.

Outside the classroom (the most important place), people use these words to say “how often” something happens.  So, they can be used to talk about the past, present or the future.

So how can we learn them then?  Good question.  My advice is to learn the meaning of these words, and then think about how you can use them with different tenses (past, present and future).  They change the meaning slightly.

Can you think of any examples?  Post them in the comments below.

As I always say…happy learning!!

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2 thoughts on “Always, sometimes, never…

  1. He is always playing computer game at the midnight. (Present progressive)

    He always plays computer game at the midnight . (Present simple)

    He has always played computer game at the midnight. (Present perfect)

    He played always computer game at the midnight. (Past simple)

    He was always playing computer game at the midnight. . (Past progressive)

    He’ll always play computer game at the midnight (“Will” future)

    He is always playing computer game at the midnight.(“going to” future)

    • Good job Charles. Thanks for your examples. Here is some further information and a few small tips.

      He is always playing computer game at the midnight. [In English, if you use present progressive and “always” in this sentence, it sounds like you find this behaviour very annoying! Great work 🙂 )

      He always plays computer game at the midnight . (This is the kind of sentence you find in class. I’m sure this one is quite easy for most people.)

      He has always played computer game at the midnight. (The meaning here is that he played computer games in the past, and he still plays them now. Great! So always suggests that an old behaviour continues now.)

      He played always computer game at the midnight. (“Always” comes before the verb in this sentence. He always played computer games at midnight.). (It sounds like the person doesn’t play computer games any more…Or he is dead. Hopefully he has just stopped! Hehe.)

      He was always playing computer game at the midnight. . (This is an annoying habit in the past. He has stopped this annoying habit now.)

      He’ll always play computer game at the midnight (This is your prediction about the future. Good!)

      Well done Charles!! Keep up the good work 🙂

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