time and again

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Hese, May 10, 2008.

  1. Hese Senior Member


    This time I have a stylistic question: is "time and again" negative, positive or neutral?

    How would you put the following sentence:

    Again and again, we face the same problem.

    or: Time and again, we face the same problem.

    Which one do you prefer and why?

    Thank you very much for your help
  2. Binario Senior Member

    Russia, Russian
    To me both sound the same.
  3. gasman Senior Member

    Canada, English
    I would use "time and again", I have not come across "again and again" to any extent in a similar context. That, of course, could be entirely my own fault.
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Is there a difference between time and again and again and again?
    I don't know, just now, though I agree with gasman that time and again seems more familiar.

    Both suggest a sense of irritation at the repetitive - whatever it is.
  5. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I tend to say "time and time again" rather than "time and again".

    In both versions of the phrase there is, I agree, a hint of irritation.

    I'm not sure the same is true of "again and again" - this could simply imply doggedness.
  6. elroy

    elroy Imperfect Mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think time and again is more suitable at the beginning of a sentence:

    Time and again, we face the same problem.
    We face the same problem again and again.

    Am I alone?
  7. LouisaB Senior Member

    English, UK
    No, you're not. I totally agree - but I have no idea why this is so.
  8. Hese Senior Member

    Thank you very much, all of you!

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