Main Difference – Always vs Forever
Always and forever are adverbs that have similar meanings. Although these two adverbs can be used interchangeably in most cases, there are instances where they have distinctive meanings. Thus, they cannot be always used as synonyms. It is important to look at the different meanings of these two adverbs in order to understand the difference between always and forever. The main difference between always and forever is that always usually means at all times or on all occasions whereas forever usually means for an endless time.
This article covers,
1. Meaning and Usage of Always
2. Meaning and Usage of Forever
3. Difference Between Always and Forever
Always – Meaning and Usage
The adverb always has several meanings. Let’s look at these meanings first.
At all times; on all occasions
The sun always sets from the west.
Her sister always wears black.
She has always helped the poor.
For all future times; forever
I’ll love you forever.
He’ll always be missed.
I’ll always be there for you.
As a last resort; at any rate
You can always try again.
If the marriage doesn’t work, you can always get a divorce.
As seen from the above meanings and examples, the meaning of always and forever can overlap in some instances. Always can sometimes take the meaning of forever. However, not all the above meanings can be replaced by forever. For example,
You can always try again
You can try again forever
These two sentences have completely opposite meanings. The first sentence means that you can call again if the other option fails. The second sentence means you can keep trying.
Forever – Meaning and Usage
Forever is also an adverb. Given below are the meanings of forever:
At all times
He’s forever doing silly things.
They’ll be together forever.
This meaning is similar to always and forever can be replaced by always in sentences that carry this meaning. For example,
He is forever asking questions. = He is always asking questions.
For a very long time
We’ve been waiting forever.
It took forever to get to the top of the hill.
For an endless time
I’ll love you forever
She wants to live forever.
Difference Between Always and Forever
Always mainly means at all times.
Forever mainly means for an endless time.
Always cannot refer to a long time.
Forever can refer to a long time.
Always usually refers to a time period within one’s life period.
Forever refers to an endless time.
Always can mean at any rate or as a last resort.
Forever cannot mean at any rate or as a last resort.
“Americans will always fight for liberty” – NARA – 513806″ By U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
“Anita willcox solidarity-forever-poster” By Judy Seidman (photo) of League for Industrial Democracy – poster by Anita Willcox (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia