always can't help

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Alan Evangelista

Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Is it correct to use "always" together with "can't help (doing sth.)" ? It seems odd to use "always" with a negative instead of "never", but using the latter is also odd because "can't help" is a fixed expression.

Example sentence without "always": I can't help laughing when I think about that trip.

And using "always":
I always can't help laughing when I think about that trip.

It seems to me that a better alternative to add the "always" idea is to use "whenever":
"Whenever I think about that trip, I can't help laughing". I am just not sure if this is the only option.

Thanks in advance!
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    :thumbsup: Your alternative is better, though "when I think about the trip" can also mean "whenever I think about the trip".

    I wouldn't even try to use always or never with I can't help (doing).


     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I can't help laughing when I think about that trip. :tick: "Can't help" implies "every time I think about that trip".
    I can't help laughing whenever I think about that trip. :tick: OK but on reflection "whenever" seems a bit tautologous.
    I always can't help laughing when I think about that trip. :rolleyes: Doesn't sound good to me but you might hear it.
    I can never help doing it. :cross: Ungrammatical.
    I can't ever help doing it. :cross: Ungrammatical.
     
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