As always, he could not win

Discussion in 'English Only' started by arjun78, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. arjun78 Senior Member

    As always, he could not win.

    I've seen sentences where we have: He won the prize, as always. But can 'as always' be used to refer to something negative, namely something that did NOT happen, as in the above example?
  2. Piers

    Piers Member

    New Jersey, USA
    Am. English
    "As always, he could not win"
    He could not win, like all the previous times that he did not win - He has never won before.
  3. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Yes, Arjun, the sentence is perfectly good English.
    What is a bit nastier is the fact that the corresponding affirmative sentence — "As always, he could win"— would be wrong. You would have to resort to "As always, he was able to/managed to win", or "He succeeded in winning".
    But that's the thousand natural shocks that studying English grammar is heir to.

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