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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?

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

Великие люди не всегда мудры.

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    Здесь определенно стоит использовать краткую форму прилагательного: „Вели́кие лю́ди не всегда́ мудры́“. – Dmitry Alexandrov Sep 3 '14 at 3:13
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    @DmitryAlexandrov, you are right, thank you. – Dmitry Sep 3 '14 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 '14 at 11:50
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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.

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You can also say

Не каждый великий человек мудр.

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"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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