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What does "all along" mean? What is the difference between "all along" and "always"? And in which case is it correct to use "all along"?
Thanks for your reply.
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Hi,

What does "all along" mean? What is the difference between "all along" and "always"? And in which case is it correct to use "all along"?

As a time expression, 'all along' means 'during the complete process/event. There's also a sense of mild rebuke in the phrase. Examples -

You watched me trying hard to solve this problem and you knew the solution all along. The implication is you should have told me, but you didn't.

Tom knew Mary for years. He loved her all along, but he only told her on the day he died. (Like Cyrano De Bergerac, if you perhaps know the famous story) Again, the implication is that he should have told her.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi Clive,

1.Does 'all along' always have a sense of mild rebke in any context or not necessary? Can we use it without a sense of mild rebke?

2."You watched me trying hard to solve this problem and you knew the solution all along."

Can we use 'all this time', 'all the time', 'the whole/entire time' intead of 'all along' in your example above without chaning the meaning?

...and you knew the solution all this time.
...and you knew the solution all the time.
...and your knew the solution the whole/entire time.

3.Do those expressions also have a sense of mild rebuke like 'all along'?

Thanks a lot.
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Hi,

1.Does 'all along' always have a sense of mild rebke in any context or not necessary? Can we use it without a sense of mild rebuke?

Consider 'I was ill for 6 months, and Tom took care of me all along'. There's no rebuke here, just a stress on the duration

2."You watched me trying hard to solve this problem and you knew the solution all along."

Can we use 'all this time', 'all the time', 'the whole/entire time' intead of 'all along' in your example above without changing the meaning? More or less, yes.

...and you knew the solution all this time.
...and you knew the solution all the time.
...and your knew the solution the whole/entire time.

3.Do those expressions also have a sense of mild rebuke like 'all along'? In a context like the above, yes.

Clive
Clive2."You watched me trying hard to solve this problem and you knew the solution all along."
Can we use 'all this time', 'all the time', 'the whole/entire time' intead of 'all along' in your example above without changing the meaning? More or less, yes.

Hi Clive,
What do you mean by 'more or less' here? Is there any subtle difference among them?

"We talked on the road the whole time/all this time/all the time/all along when going there."
Are these expressions interchangeable here?

Thank you very much for your answer.
Hi,

What do you mean by 'more or less' here? Is there any subtle difference among them?

"We talked on the road the whole time/all this time/all the time/all along when going there."
Are these expressions interchangeable here? Yes, but possible small differences may exist in certain contexts. Nonverbal things like tone and expression may also have an effect.

Here are some possible differences.

the whole time stresses there were no pauses

all this time shows we are speaking close to the time we are speaking about

all the time stresses 100% of the time

all along as discussed earlier

Clive
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Hi Clive,

Many thanks for your explanation about the difference.

1.Is there any difference between 'the whole time' and 'the entire time' here?

2."all this time shows we are speaking close to the time we are speaking about"
I'm sorry I can't understand your explanation about 'all this time' here. Could you describe the situation?

3.'We talked on the road all along when going there.'

(1)Can I use 'on the road' if we go there on foot in the example?
(2)Can I say
'We talked on our way there all along.'
instead of
'We talked on the road all along when going there.'

Thanks a lot
Hi,

1.Is there any difference between 'the whole time' and 'the entire time' here? Not really. 'Whole' is perhaps more casual.

2."all this time shows we are speaking close to the time we are speaking about"
I'm sorry I can't understand your explanation about 'all this time' here. Could you describe the situation? It's because the use of the word 'this' suggests the time was close. If we were talking about something that happened 20 years ago, I'd say 'that time'.

3.'We talked on the road all along when going there.'

(1)Can I use 'on the road' if we go there on foot in the example? Yes.
(2)Can I say
'We talked on our way there all along.' Use the word order 'We talked all along our way'. But 'all along' now sounds like you are talking not about time but about the distance that you travelled. eg 'There was garbage lying all along the road'.

instead of
'We talked on the road all along when going there.'Similar comment.

Clive
Hi Clive,

Thank you very much for your reply. This time, I understand what you meant by 'all this time'.

'We talked on the road all along when going there'

1.Do you mean 'all along' here sounds like we are talking about distance?

2.'We talked all along on the road when going there.'
Does 'all along' here sound like we are talking about the time?

3."We talked on the road the whole time/all this time/all the time when going there."
Are the positions of these expressions like 'the whole time' correct here?

Thanks a lot.
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