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Expressing "always" with "conglai"

Although perhaps more often used in the negative to mean "never," 从来 (cónglái) can be used with (dōu) to mean "always" or "have always (done)."

Without the negative adverbs and , 从来 takes on the meaning of "always." (Literally, 从来 means something like "from the beginning," although no one is really thinking that phrase when they use it.) When used in the positive, though, it is customary to put the adverb 都 after 从来.

Structure

Subj. + 从来 + 都 (是) + Predicate

The predicate part of the pattern can be a verb or an adjective. It's also quite common to follow 从来都 with an additional for emphasis.

Examples

  • 从来 都 这样 。cónglái dōu zhèyàng.He's always like this.
  • 从来 都 这么 晚 睡 。cónglái dōu zhème wǎn shuì.She's always gone to bed so late.
  • 他 说话 从来 都 很 大声 。Tā shuōhuà cónglái dōu hěn dàshēng.He's always spoken very loudly.
  • 我们 学校 的 学生 从来 都 只 能 穿 校服 。Wǒmen xuéxiào de xuéshēng cónglái dōu zhǐ néng chuān xiàofú.Students in our school can only wear school uniforms.
  • 成功 从来 都 要 靠 自己 努力 。Chénggōng cónglái dōu yào kào zìjǐ nǔlì.Success always depends on working hard by oneself.
  • 我们 下棋 ,从来 都是 他 赢 。Wǒmen xiàqí, cónglái dōushì tā yíng.He always wins when we play chess.
  • 她 买 衣服 从来 都是 只 买 名牌 。Tā mǎi yīfu cónglái dōushì zhǐ mǎi míngpái.She always buys brand-name clothes when she goes shopping.
  • 从来 都是 一个人 住 ,已经 习惯 了 。cónglái dōushì yīgèrén zhù, yǐjīng xíguàn le.I've always lived alone; I'm used to it already.

See Also

Sources and further reading

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