Learn English Grammar – Using Always to Complain

MichaelAD Grammar 14 Comments

How do we use ALWAYS with the present progressive (present continuous)?

For today’s English lesson, I am going to show you how to use always for complaining. I’m sure you already know that we use always plus the simple present to talk about habits:

  • I always drink coffee in the morning.
  • Jack is always on time for work.

Well, we use always with the present progressive to express a person’s habitual actions that bother us. In other words, you can use this grammar to complain or show your annoyance about someone’s behavior. The nuance is someone is always doing something, and that bothers me:

  • Mark is always leaving the lights on when he leaves the office.
  • The boss is always micromanaging us. I wish he would just let us work.

It is also possible to use always with the present progressive to express a person’s habitual actions that do not annoy or bother us. You will need to think of the context of the sentence to know if the speaker is complaining or not:

    • The CEO is always looking for new markets to expand our business. ☺
    • The CEO is always looking for mistakes in our work. ☹

Keep in mind the best way to remember this or any vocabulary in English is to take the word or phrase write it in a sentence that’s true for you or true in your world and then memorize your sentences.

You can even take your sentences and write them in the comments below. I would love to see your examples. And if you really want help with vocabulary, sign up for my free vocabulary workshop (see below).

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!


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Comments 14

    1. Post

      Thanks Carol, yes, that’s ok grammatically, but this grammar is usually used with a positive verb. To get the same meaning, you can say something like, “He’s always borrowing my things without asking.”
      I hope that helps!

  1. I am always checking the updates of Happy English.
    My supervisor is always pointing out the mistakes instead of encouraging.
    That road is always blocking even after expending.

    1. Hi May! Nice sentences. One point about the third one…A road can not block, so it’s better to say, “That road is always being blocked even after expanding.” 🙂

  2. She is always talking about her problems.
    he is always complaining.

    My mom is always cooking delicious traditional meals.
    I am always trying to be on time but failing.

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