I heard that ときどき can only be used in an affirmative sentence, and never in a negative sentence. Is that true?

If anyone could please provide an example of ときどき in a negative sentence, that would be great too!

  • 1
    I would answer to your question with an affirmative yes, and then no! – oldergod Oct 22 '15 at 4:08
  • I'm feeling lucky-result from Google on "ときどき ない" – macraf Oct 22 '15 at 4:54
  • 2
    Besides, your question title and question content are opposite. – macraf Oct 22 '15 at 4:57
  • As you can see, people are confused. If you could clarify your question (did you mean only affirmative or only negative?), that would help a lot. It would also help if you could give a source for the claim―was it a textbook, for example? – snailplane Oct 23 '15 at 1:25

The nature of the word "sometimes" implies both a positive and negative side to it. Take the following sentence:

Sometimes I go out for a walk.

This means that sometimes you do walk, but implicitly, sometimes you don't. Even though the verb is in the affirmative, the sentence is partly positive and partly negative.

This gives us a little flexibility with the verb, because it will be correct in either the positive or negative. By default, people will usually stick with positive, but occasionally there is a good reason to use negative, such as emphasis on the negativity part. In the link macraf gave in the comments, for example:

Symptom: sometimes doesn't connect

The negative is used with ときどき here to emphasize the fact that is sometimes is not connecting. The affirmative is fine grammatically, but 「時々つながる」doesn't make much sense it context, as doesn't really sound like a real problem for a troubleshooting page.

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