For example, in the sentence "Great people are not always wise." I know I could say something like Великие люди иногда не мудрые but is there a more elegant way to say this?

4 Answers 4


I believe the literal translation не всегда better fits your needs:

Великие люди не всегда мудры.

  • 3
    Здесь определенно стоит использовать краткую форму прилагательного: „Вели́кие лю́ди не всегда́ мудры́“. Sep 3, 2014 at 3:13
  • 1
    @DmitryAlexandrov, you are right, thank you.
    – Dmitry
    Sep 3, 2014 at 9:36
  • Maybe even "Великие не всегда мудры" as a shorter alternative — after all, such wording is pretty common to aphorisms.
    – Shady_arc
    Sep 3, 2014 at 11:50

Is it about great people not being wise all the time, or about not every great person being wise?

If latter, I would write it as Не все великие люди мудры.


You can also say

Не каждый великий человек мудр.


"Не обязательно" also will do in this case.

Великие люди не обязательно мудры.

Generally speaking, you're not talking about time in this sentence, but about a logical relationship, namely an absence of cause-effect relation. So using of the time-related words like всегда and иногда isn't essential, and any way to express this simple logic is OK. For example:

Из того, что человек велик, не следует, что он мудр.

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