Don't they all mean "always"? I would be grateful if you could provide example sentences.

  • 从来 should be added into the group, I believe! – Blaszard Jul 24 '17 at 18:08

They do all carry the "always" meaning, but each provide different finer details.

  • 向来 = always; (since the beginning)
  • 一直 = always; (have been continuously)
  • 总是 = always; (unexceptionally /universally)

Examples:

向來沒有加班費 "without overtime pay since the beginning."

一直沒有加班費 "have been continuously without overtime pay."

總是沒有加班費 "unexceptionally without overtime pay ."

  • 1
    "实用汉语近义虚词词典"一直(副)/总是(副) [相同] 都是副词,作状语,表示行为或状态从过去到现在都是如此。有时可以互换,但"一直"强调持续性,"总是"强调经常性:(1)最近我 一直 咳嗽。(总是✓)(2)出国以后,她 一直 想家。(总是✓)(3)麦克性格开朗, 总是 那么热情,那么快乐。(一直✓)(4)吃了这么多营养品,他的身体却 总是 不见好。(一直✓) [不同] 1。"一直"主要强调行为状态持续,中间没有中断:"总是"强调习惯性、经常发生、次数多,中间有间断。有时互换后句子成立,但意思不同。语义明确时不能呼唤:(1)小朱 总是 忙到天黑才下班。(经常忙,中间有中断)(2)小朱 一直 忙到天黑才下班。(持续忙,中间没有中断)(3)最近他 一直 生病。(持续生病)(4)最近他 总是 生病。(经常生病)(5)最近他俩 总是 吵架。(一直 ✗)(6)钢材他俩 一直 吵架。(总是 ✗)(7)这些天她 总是 睡不着。(一直 ✗)(8)昨天她 一直 睡不着。(总是 ✗)(9)他 总是 一边看书,一边听音乐,这个习惯不好。(一直 ✗)(10)上午他 一直 一边看书,一边听音乐,哪儿也没去。(总是 ✗)2。"一直"可以修饰持续的行为、状态,表示动作行为持续进行或状态持续不变,没有中断, – user6065 Aug 19 '16 at 18:58
  • 句中常有表示起止点的时间词语;此时不能用"总是": (1)毕业后,我 一直 在中学教书。(总是 ✗)(2)这几年玛丽 一直 住在广州。(总是 ✗)(3)他 一直 爱着你,你难道不知道吗?(总是 ✗)(4)他 一直 很佩服罗吉,他的汉语说得太好了。(总是 ✗)(5)我 一直 不知道他是你弟弟。(总是 ✗) (6)这几天他 一直 在家里休息。(总是 ✗)(7)昨天下午我 一直 在图书馆等你。(总是 ✗)(8)我从8点 一直 等到12点。(总是 ✗)(9)这几年他 一直 在学汉语。(总是 ✗)(10)_一直_ 到现在,他还不知道这件事。(总是 ✗)3。"总是"可以修饰不能长时间持续的动作行为,句中常有"每"表示每次都是这样,没有例外;此时不能用"一直":(1)他遇到问题,_总是_ 虚心向别人请教。(一直✗)(2)对别人的邀请,他 总是 拒绝。(一直✗)(3)每到春节,我 总是 去给老师拜年。(一直✗)(4)每次考试,玛丽 总是 第一名。(一直✗)(5)每次书法比赛,_总是_ 日本学生第一名。(一直✗)4。"总是"还可以强调事情必然会如此,相当于"一定、必。然";"一直"没有这种用法:(1)不管有什么事情,饭总是要吃的。(一直✗)(2)只要肯下功夫,理想总是会实现饿。(一直✗)(3)不要难过,困难总是会过去的。(一直✗) – user6065 Aug 19 '16 at 19:11
  • 5。"一直"还可以强调所指的范围,还可以表示方向不便;"总是"没有这样的用法:(1)未来三天从东北 一直 到西北部都有大雨。(总是 ✗)(2)他 一直 往前走,到第一个路口向右转。(总是 ✗) comment #1: correct 钢材 to 刚才 – user6065 Aug 19 '16 at 19:30
  • "汉语800虚词用法词典" 向来 (副)always;all along 从来;一向。表示从过去到现在,动作行为或性质状态一直是这样。1。向来+动词词组/主谓词组(1)中国向来主张国家无论大小应一律平等。(2)中国向来反对大国欺负小国,强国欺负弱国,尤其反对霸权主义打着各种帽子,侵略别国。(3)我们向来奉行独立自主的和平外交政策,发展与世界各国的友好关系。(4)我们老师向来都是站着上课,从不愿意坐着上课。(5)他向来讲话不拿讲稿,幽默的谈吐,常常博得听众阵阵掌声。2。向来+形容词/形容词词组(1)中国人向来好客,只要到中国人家里,他们会做很多好吃的招待你。(2)她为人向来低调,不愿意抛头路面。你要想采访她比较难。(3)他向来大方,爱交朋友,所以有什么事,一招呼,朋友都会帮他的忙。(4)他向来老实厚道,从不干那些投机取巧的事。(5)他从小跟爸爸妈妈长大,向来比较娇气。(6)这条街向来都很热闹,到了节假日就更不用说了。 – user6065 Aug 19 '16 at 20:28
  • The question that was asked is "all three words can be translated to "always" , what is the difference?" A simple answer point out the difference between them, when they're acting in " always " function. should be enough. To list detailed usage of each term on their own, like giving a class lesson is too broad an answer. – Tang Ho Aug 19 '16 at 20:40

向来, has always been like this ( continuation in terms of time) "It has always been like this that we don't get paid for doing voluntary work."

一直, always ( either in terms of frequency or time) "He is always happy"

总是 always (in terms of frequency only). "All religious stuff aside, the fact is, people who can't kill will always be subject to those who can."

"总是" means "all the time",

“一直” means "always".

"向来" means it always like that, since the beginning. and "向来" always used in this phrase pattern:

"向来"... "都"

Learn more Chinese grammer here: http://www.hanbridgemandarin.com/course/chinese-language-course/chinese-grammar

向來 is from the beginning until now. It can also means "it's always been like this" Ex. 我向來不吃魚。I never ate fish. 陳先生向來不打電話。Mr. Chen never calls. 他向來工作很認真。He's always doing his work diligently.

一直 Means doing something continuously or endlessly. Ex. 他一直打我。He keeps beating me.

總是 also means always, but often used to imply something negative. Note that it can also be used for positive sentences also. Ex. 他總是不理我。He never gave me attention. 你為什麼總是遲到?Why are you always late?

他做事總是有始有終。He always finishes what he starts.

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