Chinese grammar: "Always" with 从来"conglai"

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

Structure with 都

Without the negative adverbs 不 and 没, 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 the 从来.

subject+从来+都+verb phrase


Tā cónɡlái dōu bú huì zuòfàn.
他 从来 都 不 会 做饭 。
I’ve never been able to cook (rice)

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