Is my Sentence grammatically correct?

I wanted to ask you in person but there were people always around.

  • It looks fine. However, I would be inclined to place the adverb always after your verb. The adverb usually comes after the " to be " verb..
    – user242899
    Feb 18, 2018 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


It is not ungrammatical but does not quite make sense. If you used "in private" instead of "in person", then that would explain why people always being around would stop you asking.

Asking in person means asking directly rather than through an intermediary. So, if you are offering tea to a man in wheelchair, you can ask him in person whether he takes sugar, or you could ask his carer whether he takes sugar. The latter way would be asking indirectly - and not a good thing to do if the man in the wheelchair is awake!

  • This is not what “in person” means. In the case of the person in the wheelchair, we would just say “directly” or “indirectly.” “In person” means “in the person’s physical presence, not via phone/email/text.” Furthermore, the original sentence might be using “in person” correctly, depending on the context.
    – mamster
    Feb 19, 2018 at 4:26

Your sentence is mostly correct. I would reword it like so (paying close attention to the location of always, and the addition of other).

I wanted to ask you in person but there were always other people around.

You could omit the other, and in fact, when I personally use this expression, I do. However I find it more to be a quirk about myself than an example of correct grammar.

Either way, this sentence does effectively convey the meaning of moving communication to a different medium (e.g., text message, email) as opposed to saying something face to face. The "always people around" or "always other people around" conveys that you wanted privacy, but you wished that you could have communicated it in person (usually, to convey integrity or respect).

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