Always” means at all times or on all occasions.

“I always do” is in the present simple tense, so it’s related to habit.

I’m always doing” is in the present continuous, however it refers to regular events or states, especially when it is problematic.

I always doI’m always doing
Refers to habitsRefers to problematic regular events or states
Can be used to make complaintsUsed to make complaints

I always do

This refers to habit. It is a statement of something that is done intentionally all the time.

  • I always wash the dishes after cooking.”
  • I always put the car keys on the table when I get home.”

This can be used in a variety of different tenses when talking about habits, with the exception of the continuous form.

  • Simple past tense:I always washed the dishes after dinner.”
    This refers to a habit in the past.
  • Present perfect:I have always washed the dishes after dinner.”
    This is a regular activity up until the present.
  • Future:I will always wash the dishes after dinner.”
    This is a promise to do something in the future.

I’m always doing

This refers to regular events or states when it is problematic. So this often comes across as something negative like a complaint.

  • I’m always checking his work.”
  • He’s always coming home late.”

You can also use this in a variety of tenses as well.

  • Past continuous tense:I was always losing my keys.”
    This refers to an ongoing problem in the past.
  • Present perfect continuous:I have always been losing my keys.”
    This is a regular problem until the present.
  • Future continuous:I will always be losing my keys.”
    This is more like a prediction.
a. When saying something negative, the present simple and present continuous are actually interchangeable.
  • Present continuous:I’m always losing my keys.”
  • Present simple:I always lose my keys.”
    These imply I lose my keys all the time.
  • Present continuous:I’m always telling him to wash the dishes.”
  • Present simple: I always tell him to wash the dishes.”
    These imply I tell him to wash the dishes all the time.

Original posts: 14 May 2020