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Adverbs of frequency

Adverbs of frequency tell us how often or how frequently an event happens. Adverbs of frequency can be definite or indefinite. 


Adverbs of indefinite frequency do not tell us the exact time of the event. They include: 

Frequency 
Adverb 
Example 
100% 
Always 
I always get up early. 
90% 
Usually 
She usually leaves home at 7. 
80% 
Normally/Generally 
We generally go swimming after work. 
75% 
Frequently 
Check the equipment frequently. 
70% 
Often 
They often go to the theatre. 
50% 
Sometimes 
He sometimes goes to bed late. 
30% 
Occasionally 
see her occasionally in the street. 
10% 
Seldom/Rarely 
She seldom [=rarely] eats meat. 
5% 
Hardly ever 
He hardly ever goes to the library. 
0% 
Never 
We never wear jeans at work. 

Adverbs of indefinite frequency are usually used between the subject and main verb, or after the auxiliary verb. 

Subject+Adverb+Main verb 

  • sometimes go to work by bus.  
  • rarely write to my sister. 

Subject+Auxiliary+Adverb+Main verb 

  • I can usually go shopping on Sundays. 
  • I've never done it before. 
We use them after be as a main verb. 

Subject+Be+Adverb

  • He is always late for work. 
  • It is sometimes difficult to get up early. 
We can use usually, normally, often, frequently, sometimes and occasionally at the beginning of a sentence for emphasis. 

  • Sometimes my father cooks dinner. 
  • Occasionally she goes out.  
We don't use always, seldom, rarely, hardly ever, never at the beginning of a sentence. 
When we use an adverb of frequency in the negative or question, we put it before the main verb. 

  • Do you often visit your grandparents? 
  • I don't usually go by car. 
We can emphasize some adverbs with very. 

  • I don't see them very often. 
  • cook bacon only very occasionally 
  • He very rarely goes abroad. 
How often or how frequently is used to ask about the frequency of an event.  

  • How often do you go to church? 
  • How frequently does it happen? 
Adverbs of frequency

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