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Let's say someone has been consistently been consistently doing (starting and finishing) their homework straight after school. However, one day, the person decides to watch a movie instead. His mom confronts him.

To be correct & truthful, would the person say:

A: "Give me a break, I have been always doing my homework after school."

A: "Give me a break, I always do my homework after school."

A: "Give me a break, I have been usually doing my homework after school."

A: "Give me a break, I usually do my homework after school."

In my opinion #1 and #4 are truthful and correct. This is because number #1 indicates before that event, the person has been always doing his homework after school, and in #4, the person is saying that the he usually does his homework after school (because there is no "have been", it indicates that the person is including this event?). I'm not sure if I'm correct on the "have been" thingy, so any help is appreciated.

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To be correct & truthful, would the person say:

A: "Give me a break, I have always been been always doing my homework after school." The Present Perfect Continuous suggests a temporary activity. This doesn't fit with 'always'.


A: "Give me a break, I always do my homework after school."<<<<<<< Yes


A: "Give me a break, I have usually been been usually doing my homework after school." usually is not the same as always.

In addition, the Present Perfect Continuous suggests a temporary activity. This doesn't fit with 'always'.


A: "Give me a break, I usually do my homework after school." In normal English, this would be natural, but usually is not the same as always.

Clive

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You have a point, but let 's explore this a bit further.

For how many consecutive days before watching the movie instead has the person done their homework straight after school? 5? 50? 100?

What I'm getting at is what we mean by always and usually when we talk like this. eg If the person watched one movie 2 years ago, can they never again say 'always'?

Clive

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Wouldn’t usually be correct as the person does not always do their homework after school (as they watched a movie that current day)?

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I see that. However, it's like in the moment, right? So the person did his homework straight after school for 100 straight days, then watches a movie on the 101th. On the 101th day, his mom confronts him, and he says always. It wasn't really 2 years ago, but in the current day. Does this "always" still apply?

That;s a difficult question. Different people might give you different answers.

What do you think? You are the one who is asking 'To be correct & truthful, what would the person say?'

If you want correctness and truth, I think you might need to ask a careful series of questions.


Perhaps my bottom-line is that I don't feel English is 100% concerned with correctness and truth. It's a clumsy communications tool.

Clive

This is what I think:

first of all, my question is when someone says “I always do my homework right after school”, does this also apply to right after the 101th school day (like in the moment) or just before the 101th school day?

If it does also apply to the 101th school day, it is technically wrong as he does not always do homework right after school (as In the 101th school day he didn’t), so it would be correct to say almost always, however, knowing that English is loose-goosey language, I believe the always is appropriate To say despite it Being technically “lying “ as it kind of emphasizes the point the person is trying to make, and he only missed it once. The person could also say “I always do my homework right after school besides today” to avoid call outs for lying or like talking back, right?

if it doesn’t apply to the 101th day (which I doubt it doesn’t), I believe “always” is correct.

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