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