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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: 

I always get up early. 
She usually leaves home at 7. 
We generally go swimming after work. 
Check the equipment frequently. 
They often go to the theatre. 
He sometimes goes to bed late. 
see her occasionally in the street. 
She seldom [=rarely] eats meat. 
Hardly ever 
He hardly ever goes to the library. 
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. 


  • 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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