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Adverbs of Frequency

Perfect English Grammar

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With the present simple, we often use adverbs of frequency to say 'how often' we do something. Here's a list of common adverbs:

  • always
  • frequently
  • generally
  • hardly ever
  • infrequently
  • never
  • normally
  • occasionally
  • often
  • rarely
  • regularly
  • seldom
  • sometimes
  • usually

We usually put these adverbs in the middle of the sentence, between the subject and the verb:

  • I often go to the cinema.
  • She sometimes visits me at home.
  • We usually drink coffee.
We can also put them at the very beginning or end of the sentence. This makes them stronger:
  • Often I go to the cinema.
  • I go to the cinema often.
  • But never: I go often to the cinema.
Here are some other expressions we can use to say 'how often'. All of these longer phrases go at the beginning or the end of the sentence but not in the middle.
  • once in a while: I go to the cinema once in a while.
  • every now and again: She drinks wine every now and again.
  • from time to time: From time to time I visit my mother.
To say how often something happens, you can use a number or 'several' or 'many', followed by 'times'.( If the number is one, use 'once' instead of 'one time'. If the number is two use 'twice,' instead of 'two times') Then add 'a' and a period of time:
  • I go to the cinema twice a week.
  • She takes these tablets three times a day.
  • I change the sheets once a fortnight (fortnight = two weeks).
  • I meet him several times a year.
  • I visit my parents once a month.
We can also use 'every' + period of time:
  • every morning
  • every day
  • every Tuesday
  • every week
  • every month
A day of the week with 's' at the end (for example 'on Tuesdays') means the same as 'every Tuesday':
  • I take a dance class on Wednesdays.
  • I relax on Saturdays.