Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Do always and all the time mean exactly the same thing in these sentences?

Why are you always so busy?

Why are you so busy all the time?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

Always itself means all the time. So, both of them are very much interchangeable in usage.

share|improve this answer

They both mean that the person is very busy on many different occasions.

share|improve this answer
    
Do you mean there is no difference in meaning and they can be interchangeable in these sentences? –  atsea Nov 12 '11 at 23:04

Although in most cases they can be used interchangeably, like in the sentence you have mentioned, there are some cases where always is more appropriate e.g.

Always be prepared.

"Be prepared all the time" does not sound as good, I think, because always denotes perpetuity or continuity while all the time means repeatedly on multiple occasions. I cant think of an opposite case, where always cannot replace all the time so i guess always trumps all the time.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.