always|constantly past continuous

always|constantly past continuous

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In the English Grammar Profile, Point 90 in the category of PAST continuous listed as C2, the adverbs ‘always’ or ‘constantly’ are used to talk about repeated events which are undesired or uncontrolled.  Frustratingly, an example from point 70 in PAST category at B2 given by the EGP for adverb range pictured below

clashes.  Surely, the examples can be specific to the point they exemplify at that level.

Always + past continuous:

Interestingly, the main string searched out onto google was heavily in the sports domain, and google even asked whether “gonna” was a better search!  The second point of interest is whether or not to consider (the featured image from google) meeting C2 criteria since it does not really fall under repeated events.  Intuition would suggest that the EGP criterion is more a suggestion of what this form tends to express.  Yet, this is the kind of thing that confuses those using the EGP.  Must the “USE” case be met for it to qualify?  We know the examples are not specific so there is still scope for interpretation.

iWeb corpus collocations:

1 WAS ALWAYS GOING 9047

(4 collocates either side)

1 BE 5937
2 DIFFICULT 315
3 HAPPEN 247
4 TOUGH 239
5 KNEW 74
6 STRUGGLE 60
7 MEANT 50
8 TRICKY 31
9 CHALLENGING 27
10 PROVE 25

2 WAS ALWAYS LOOKING 1662
3 WAS ALWAYS TRYING 1396
4 WAS ALWAYS GETTING 638
5 WAS ALWAYS THINKING 627
6 WAS ALWAYS WORKING 519
7 WAS ALWAYS DOING 463
8 WAS ALWAYS BEING 425
9 WAS ALWAYS MAKING 361
10 WAS ALWAYS TALKING 345
11 WAS ALWAYS ASKING 343
12 WAS ALWAYS PLAYING 341
13 WAS ALWAYS TELLING 309
14 WAS ALWAYS WONDERING 307
15 WAS ALWAYS RUNNING 291
16 WAS ALWAYS HAVING 290
17 WAS ALWAYS SAYING 273
18 WAS ALWAYS COMING 228
19 WAS ALWAYS TAKING 205
20 WAS ALWAYS WATCHING 191

1 WERE ALWAYS LOOKING 2782

2 WERE ALWAYS GOING 1840
3 WERE ALWAYS TRYING 845
4 WERE ALWAYS WORKING 435
5 WERE ALWAYS GETTING 287
6 WERE ALWAYS TALKING 267
7 WERE ALWAYS BEING 222
8 WERE ALWAYS ASKING 222
9 WERE ALWAYS THINKING 178
10 WERE ALWAYS FIGHTING 175
11 WERE ALWAYS DOING 160
12 WERE ALWAYS MAKING 160
13 WERE ALWAYS COMING 157
14 WERE ALWAYS PLAYING 153
15 WERE ALWAYS STRIVING 134
16 WERE ALWAYS HAVING 131
17 WERE ALWAYS ADDING 129
18 WERE ALWAYS RUNNING 128
19 WERE ALWAYS TELLING 128
20 WERE ALWAYS SAYING 117

 

 

1 WAS CONSTANTLY BEING 640

2 WAS CONSTANTLY TRYING 323
3 WAS CONSTANTLY GETTING 282
4 WAS CONSTANTLY LOOKING 242
5 WAS CONSTANTLY CHANGING 210
6 WAS CONSTANTLY HAVING 203
7 WAS CONSTANTLY MOVING 144
8 WAS CONSTANTLY THINKING 137
9 WAS CONSTANTLY ASKING 133
10 WAS CONSTANTLY CHECKING 125
11 WAS CONSTANTLY GOING 121
12 WAS CONSTANTLY RUNNING 116
13 WAS CONSTANTLY WORKING 115
14 WAS CONSTANTLY FIGHTING 111
15 WAS CONSTANTLY MAKING 86
16 WAS CONSTANTLY TELLING 78
17 WAS CONSTANTLY TAKING 70
18 WAS CONSTANTLY DOING 67
19 WAS CONSTANTLY SEARCHING 56
20 WAS CONSTANTLY SEEKING 56

1 WERE CONSTANTLY BEING 536
2 WERE CONSTANTLY LOOKING 313
3 WERE CONSTANTLY TRYING 284
4 WERE CONSTANTLY WORKING 215
5 WERE CONSTANTLY GETTING 146
6 WERE CONSTANTLY CHANGING 128
7 WERE CONSTANTLY ASKING 107
8 WERE CONSTANTLY HAVING 102
9 WERE CONSTANTLY UPDATING 99
10 WERE CONSTANTLY FIGHTING 92
11 WERE CONSTANTLY MOVING 92
12 WERE CONSTANTLY ADDING 91
13 WERE CONSTANTLY MAKING 83
14 WERE CONSTANTLY TALKING 79
15 WERE CONSTANTLY COMING 77
16 WERE CONSTANTLY GOING 74
17 WERE CONSTANTLY PUSHING 70
18 WERE CONSTANTLY RUNNING 64
19 WERE CONSTANTLY LEARNING 63
20 WERE CONSTANTLY THINKING

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