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What is the difference between learning always and always learning in terms of grammar and connotation? If the connotation is the same then which is preferred?

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Context? I don't think "learning always" is grammatical on its own. Only when followed by an infinitive, in which case the always does not belong to the learning at all, but rather to that infinitive. –  RegDwigнt Mar 5 '12 at 19:12
    
I was in fact thinking of the always not belonging to learning - but what about these two statements: "He is learning always" and "He is always learning"? –  Thale Mar 5 '12 at 19:18
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The first one places the adverb always at the end of the clause, which is usually possible -- though many would prefer to put a comma or some other punctuation in the written version, and a comma intonation in the spoken version. Normally, however, always would go before the verb. –  John Lawler Mar 5 '12 at 19:24
    
@Thale: I think you need to edit your question text to clarify exactly what you're asking. I suspect it just boils down to whether there's any difference in meaning between placing an adverb before or after the verb it modifies (or possibly, the specific adverb "always"). –  FumbleFingers Mar 5 '12 at 20:25
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Always usually goes before the verb. Its placement after the verb may be an instance of anastrophe, a change in word order used to emphasise always.

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Nicely put, as always. I'd only add that putting always at the end of such a two-word phrase seems to add a nostalgic or romantic tone to the expression. Nothing definitive, but that's simply how it strikes me: "Learning Always" sounds warmer and more poetic; "Always Learning" sounds more formal and businesslike. I add this only because the O.P. asked about connotations. Prattling always, J.R. –  J.R. Mar 5 '12 at 21:51
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