I want to know about the position of always in different sentences. For example:

Always she is tidy and on time.

Is it correct or not?

closed as too broad by Matt E. Эллен, TimLymington, J.T. Grimes, anongoodnurse, Mitch Dec 30 '13 at 13:57

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  • Not - and @Rebecca gave a good explanation of why not. – Dɑvïd Dec 29 '13 at 23:08
  • Hardly an explanation, though I've little problem with her answer. Adverb position can be idiosyncratic: Often[,] she is on time. // ?Always, she is on time. // *Never she is on time. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 29 '13 at 23:50
  • I don't think it's very unfair to close-vote questions that seem like too much of a bother to answer. True, I don't have the time to attempt a suitable answer now; but I can see the merits of the question. – Kris Dec 30 '13 at 5:36
  • @David Rebecca did not say Not, note. – Kris Dec 30 '13 at 5:37
  • This link is helpful: faculty.washington.edu/marynell/grammar/AdverbPl.html. It's easy to read. – Damkerng T. Dec 30 '13 at 8:09

Always is an adverb of frequency, like never, often, frequently, and usually.

In simple tenses, it usually goes after the verb "to be": She is always on time. She was always on time. With other verbs, it usually comes just before the verb: She always runs before breakfast.

In compound tenses, it goes between the auxiliary verb and the main verb: He will always be my friend. He was always rehearsing.

  • Since whatever follows the verb be is either another auxiliary verb or a main predicate, the rule is that it goes before a main predicate and after an auxiliary verb. – John Lawler Dec 29 '13 at 23:21
  • The operating word 'usually' is the essence. Adverbs of frequency, including always can occur at the beginning of a sentence. The answer is not comprehensive in another sense: the Q is whether the position changes with different sentence structures, if so, in what way. That has not been addressed in this answer adequately. Not to undermine the utility of the answer itself, though. – Kris Dec 30 '13 at 5:33

While it may sound awkward it is correct. Moving the adverb from its usual position is commonly done for emphasis, e.g. "Always he is with me".

  • Hi, and welcome to EL&U. We like answers to be fact based, not solely opinion based, and as such, love to see links to sources which support your answer. – anongoodnurse Dec 29 '13 at 23:59
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    Sure. Here's the first reference I found on Google: "4. For emphasis we can put the adverb at the beginning or end of the sentence." The example provided there is "Sometimes we go to school by bus." esl.about.com/library/grammar/blgr_adverbs_frequency.htm – Russell Ward Dec 30 '13 at 0:09
  • But initial position isn't acceptable for all adverbs. *'Never we go to school by bus.' And 'never' and 'always' are surely in the same semantic set. (Mind you, I'm expecting a 'negative polarity' statement from John Lawler any minute.) – Edwin Ashworth Dec 30 '13 at 0:12
  • You've got me wondering what those adverbs are that we can rule out of first postion. I've just enjoyed listening to this song by Bro. Cody Zorn, youtube.com/watch?v=r_sTbcpM8PA, and feel it's harsh to judge the lyrics incorrect English: "Oh but always He's with me. Always He still cares. Always He revives me, then He will always be there." And I think of Shakespeare's sonnet that has the lines "Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd" – Russell Ward Dec 30 '13 at 0:50
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    @Russell Ward I'm reminded of Pullum's comment on 'not incorrect but . . .': If there's a knock at the door, and you ask 'Who is it?' and get the answer 'It is I,' don't let them in. It's nobody you want to know. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 30 '13 at 16:02