Expressing "all along" with "yizhi"
一直 (yīzhí) literally means "straight." Used as an adverb, 一直 (yīzhí) can also be used to express that you have been doing something all along, have been continuously doing something since a certain time, or that something will continuously happen in the future.
This structure expresses the continuous nature of an action or a circumstance.
Subj. + 一直 + Predicate
Also note that although 一直 (yīzhí) means "continuously," it is frequently more natural to use the word "always" in the English translation.
- 我 一直 在 学习 中文 。 I've been studying Chinese all along.
- 昨天 晚上 我 一直 在 做作业。 Yesterday evening I was continuously doing homework.
- 老板 一直 很 忙 。"Always" is more natural than "continuously."The boss is always very busy.
- 我 一直 很 喜欢 你。 I've always liked you a lot.
- 爸爸 一直 都 不 抽烟。 Dad has never smoked cigarettes.
- 我 男朋友 一直在 中国 教 英文。 My boyfriend has always been teaching English in China.
- 18 岁 以后 ， 他 一直 一个人 住。 Since he was 18, he has always lived alone.
- 你 一直 在 这 家 公司 工作 吗？ Have you always worked in this company?
- 你们 一直 住 在 一起 吗？ Have you always been living together?
- 北京 的 空气 一直 很 不 好。 The air in Beijing has been bad for a while.
Sources and further reading
- 现代汉语八百词（增订本） (pp. 610) [ →buy]
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 1 (pp. 308-9) →buy
- Chinese Grammar - Broken down into 100 items - Basic and Intermediate Levels (汉语语法百项讲练 - 初中级) (pp. 123) [ →buy]