Is there any difference between these two sentences?

I don't always get up early.
I always don't get up early.

I know it's one of the silliest questions ever, but, to my shame, I wasn't able to find information about such usage.
It seems for me that #1 means something like 'Sometimes I do get up early and sometimes I don't', while #2 means 'I never get up early'. I am not sure if it's correct though.

  • 7
    Your judgment is correct. But "I always don't get up early' is very odd - ordinarily you would say, as you suggest, "I never get up early". You might use it, however, if you were deliberately echoing your adressee - SHE: You didn't get up early today. YOU: I always don't get up early! Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


You're exactly right, and I don't think this is a silly question at all! Parse the sentences like this:

  1. I don't (always get up early).

This is a denial of the statement "I always get up early". It's saying that is not true. So as you said, this means that getting up early doesn't happen all the time, but it can happen some of the time.

  1. I always (don't get up early).

This is an affirmation of the statement "I don't (ever) get up early", which would probably be more likely to be said like this:

  1. I never (get up early).

Both sentence 2 and 3 mean that the speaker does not ever get up early.


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