I have always struggled with this translation, but have never quite figured it out. How do I translate

I have always been ...

Some examples would be:

  • I have always been an academic
  • I have always struggled with this translation
  • I have always told you to be more mindful of others

I think the first one would best be translated as

我从来(都/就)是个 (academic)

But using ”从来“ doesn't seem to work quite well for the other two.

  • 4
    Consider using 一直.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 8:06
  • If we speak in Cantonese, "我不嬲都係"
    – user6747
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 8:17

2 Answers 2


You have a few options. As @NS.X. pointed out 一直 is a good one, but you can also use

一向, e.g.我一向很懒。I have always been very lazy.

向来, e.g. 她向来就是个书呆子。 She has always been a bookworm.

从来 is more likely used together with 不 or 没 conveying negation, of course that is not necessary.

A conjecture of mine: 一直 is often used with a certain beginning in the speaker's mind, which is not always pointed out of course. 自从饭后我一直忙的很。Since dinner I have been very busy.




I have always been feeling pain in both knees.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.