General Writing and Grammar Help/RE: Always & all the time

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is it possible to use "always" in your examples below?

1) I eat chocolate ALL THE TIME.

2) Jack and Jill are seen together almost ALL THE TIME.

Thank you very much for the help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is it possible to use "always" in your examples below?

1) I eat chocolate ALL THE TIME.

2) Jack and Jill are seen together almost ALL THE TIME.

**** I would NOT use "always" for the first sentence.  If you say that a person "always eats chocolate," it sounds like he doesn't eat anything else.

For #2, you COULD use "always," but I advise against it.  "Always" has an "absolute" meaning, as does the word "forever."  If you say that two people are ALWAYS TOGETHER, I think that you are overstating the truth.  "Always together" is hyperbolic.  That's why I qualified my usage with the word "almost."  So, you COULD use always, but I would not.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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