General Writing and Grammar Help/Always & all the time

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "always" and "all the time"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

By the way, is "all the time" an adverbial phrase?

Thank you very much for the help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "always" and "all the time"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** There is a difference.  "Always" means "forever" or "at all times."  It is more comprehensive and "widespread" than "all the time."  By "widespread," I mean that it is applicable to EVERY instance.  Whereas, "all the time" is generally used to refer to one or more particular actions or events that recur constantly.

I eat chocolate ALL THE TIME.  [Your chocolate eating occurs constantly.]

I sometimes skip breakfast and lunch, but I ALWAYS eat a well-balanced dinner.  ["Always" in this instance means that you habitually eat a good dinner.]

Jack has ALWAYS loved Jill.  [That's absolute.  He has loved her "forever."]

Jack and Jill are seen together almost ALL THE TIME.  [A constantly recurring event.]

ALWAYS is a stronger and more encompassing word that the phrase "ALL THE TIME."

Ted

By the way, is "all the time" an adverbial phrase?

*** Yes.  It answers the question "when?"

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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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