Adverbs of frequency are words that describe how often an action or event occurs. They are used to indicate the frequency of an action in a sentence. Adverbs of frequency are essential for expressing the degree and timing of actions or events in the English language.
In this article, we will explore the different adverbs of frequency in English and how they are used in different contexts. Whether you’re a native speaker or a language learner, understanding adverbs of frequency is crucial for effective communication in English.
Adverbs of Frequency
What Are Adverbs of Frequency?
Adverbs of frequency are words that indicate how often an action is performed. Examples include “always,” “frequently,” “rarely,” “never,” “sometimes,” “usually,” and “occasionally.” They can be used to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. For example, “I always eat breakfast at 7am” or “He is frequently late for work.”
- I never drink coffee after 2pm.
- She always studies hard for her exams.
- They usually go out on Friday nights.
- He occasionally plays soccer with his friends.
- We often take a walk in the park.
- The baby sometimes cries at night.
- I rarely eat fast food.
- He is hardly ever home before 8pm.
- They hardly ever go to the movies.
- I always listen to music when I work out.
Examples of Adverbs of Frequency
Adverbs of frequency show you how often something happens. This can be always = 100%, or never = 0%.
– always – 100%
He always has sandwiches for his lunch.
– usually – 90%
The drive usually takes 15 or 20 minutes.
– generally – 80%
I generally get in to work by 8.00.
– frequently – 70%
He was frequently drunk.
– often – 70%
If you wash your hair too often, it can get too dry.
– sometimes – 50%
The journey takes an hour, sometimes even longer.
– occasionally – 30%
My stomach still bothers me occasionally.
– seldom – 10%
Karen had seldom seen him so angry.
– rarely – 5%
She very rarely complains.
– hardly ever – 5%
We hardly ever go out.
– never – 0%
He’s never been to Australia.
Positions of Adverbs of Frequency
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.
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.
– At the beginning of the sentence: occasionally, often, sometimes, usually
– At the end of the sentence: frequently, occasionally, sometimes
– Between the subject and the main verb: always, often, usually, seldom, rarely, never
– Immediately after the verb “to be”: always, often, usually, seldom, rarely, never