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Have you noticed that most of the times when you are in rush to go somewhere and there is a big hurry to arrive in time, some strange things happens that may never / rarely happened before (such as traffic jam in a path you commute every day and too rarely confront any heavy traffic) and thing all will get together to prevent you from arriving in time?

Or have you ever face a situation when you don't want to do something, but it is easy to be done at the moment and once when you need that to happen it just acts up?

There is a saying in our language that describes these types of situations when Things never happen as you anticipate them. We say:

  • Have you noticed things always end up backward?

  • Have you noticed things always happen backward?

Which one of the above sentences work in English naturally? If no one, then please let me know what would native speakers say here?

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    We say, "go wrong." Have you ever noticed things go wrong just when you need them to be right? Or you could use the phrase, "The best laid plans of mice and men..." but this might be more high-falutin' than you actually want. – Teacher KSHuang Feb 18 '17 at 9:35
  • @TeacherKSHuang it works well, but I need to pint out naturally that sometimes things are vice versa. :) – A-friend Feb 18 '17 at 9:38
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    The thing is, we wouldn't usually conceptualize these kinds of occurrences as backwards. When we say something is backwards, idiomatically, we usually mean that it's primitive or the like. – Teacher KSHuang Feb 18 '17 at 9:43
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    But perhaps you could use "go topsy-turvy"? "Go sideways"? – Teacher KSHuang Feb 18 '17 at 9:43
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    most of the time ... strange things happen ... may have never happened before – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 18 '17 at 11:26
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There is something called

Murphy's Law

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

and it usually happens when most inconvenient.

Your two sentences are along the same lines

Have you noticed how things always end up backwards?
Have you noticed things always happen backwards?

meaning

Have you noticed how things always go wrong?

but backwards is not usually how it is described.

  • Thank you very much @Peter. Is the sentence "Have you noticed how things always go wrong?" the common and natural way to say it in English? – A-friend Feb 18 '17 at 9:58
  • Or "Have you ever noticed how things always go wrong." Though here I guess "how" is redundant. Do you agree? – A-friend Feb 18 '17 at 10:01
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    In your sentence "Have you ever noticed how things always go wrong.", "how" not necessary but not redundant, since it adds emphasis. – Peter Feb 18 '17 at 10:08
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    Personally, I think it sounds much better with how. "Have you noticed (that) things always go wrong?" is about the fact that they go wrong; "Have you noticed how things always go wrong?" is about the manner in which they go wrong. – stangdon Feb 18 '17 at 12:01

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