English Grammar: Adverbs of Frequency

An adverb of frequency tells us how often something takes place....


The Position of the Adverb in a Sentence:

     1. An adverb of frequency goes before a principal verb (except with To Be).

  • Do you often go to the cinema?
  • I sometimes watch Chinese films.
  • She never eats vegetables.
  • I always read comic books.
  • They rarely watch music channels.

2. An adverb of frequency goes after the verb To Be.

  • I am always worried about my study result.
  • She is usually very happy.
  • I have never done anything bad.
  • She is always cooking spaghetti.
  • You are seldom anxious about my health.

3. Between the auxiliary and the principal verb. When the verb consists of an auxiliary verb, the frequency adverb goes after it.

  • He has always done justice to all.
  • I have often thought of starting a business.
  • I have never forgotten those unfortunate events.
  • I have sometimes managed to hoodwink others.
  • We could hardly ever appreciate his conduct.
  • We shall never seek such favors.
  • They will always regret having done this.
  • They will usually take such big risks.

Notes

     1. Some frequency adverbs (e.g. usually, normally, often, frequently, sometimes and occasionally) can also go in the beginning or end of a sentence. For example:

  • He writes often.
  • We visit them frequently.
  • Sometimes I am late for office.

     2. The adverbs always, ever, never, seldom and rarely need to be placed before the verb. These adverbs cannot be placed in the beginning or end of a sentence.

     3. Adverbs usually go after the auxiliaries. But when the auxiliaries need to be stressed, they are sometimes put after the adverbs. For example:

  • We never should do such things.
  • You always have done justice to all.

4. Used to and have to are always placed after adverbs.

  • We sometimes used to stay up the whole night.
  • He occasionally used to write to me.
  • The fire brigade always has to be ready to face any emergency.

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English Grammar: Adverbs of Frequency

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