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Mike

always...从来 - 总 - 总是

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Mike

Is there any difference in the meaning and use of 从来, 总 和 总是, all of which seem to mean 'always'

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Lu

As far as I know:

從來 includes the past, and is an ongoing thing.

我從來沒吃過狗肉 I have never in my life eaten dogmeat.

我從來不吸煙 I never smoke.

總 is more for regular occurances, habits.

總是樣子 It's always like that. Or for things like He's always late.

I hope this helps a bit, perhaps other people can give some more insights.

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Horatio

I've most commonly seen 从来 used as in 从来不 (present negative) or 从来没(有)(past negative) meaning "never". But then I'm not widely read.

As for 总是 or 总 for short. The latter is just probably more colloquial. They both mean "always".

You might be interested in another word that means always but is usually used with an action that has a negative connotation- 老是 or 老 for short.

For example

他老是迟到。

他老是抱怨。

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