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How to Use Adverbs of Frequency for English

The Explanation

Adverbs of frequency are defined as the adverbs that change or qualify the meaning of a sentence by letting us know how often or how frequently something happens. In simple terms, Adverbs of frequency are used to tell us how often/how frequently something is done.

Adverbs of frequency are usually represented by the words such as always, frequently, constantly, continually infrequently, occasionally, often, normally, rarely, regularly, seldom, etc


  • Jim always does his homework on time

In the example above, the word always tells us the frequency (how often) Jim does his homework on time.

Rules for using Adverbs of Frequency

Below are some of the important rules for using the Adverbs of frequency--

  1. Adverbs of frequency are most commonly used to discuss how often/frequently something happens.

  2. Adverbs of frequency are often used to indicate repeated or routine activities hence they are often used with the present simple tense.

  3. If a sentence contains more than one verb, the adverb of frequency is usually placed before the main verb.

  • e.g.: They have often visited United Stated

  1. While using an adverb of frequency in the negative or interrogative sentence, it is placed before the main verb.

  • e.g.: Do you always drive this slowly?

  1. In case the sentence has only one verb, we place the adverb of frequency in the middle of the sentence to position it after the subject but before the verb.

  • e.g.: John never takes a flight. He always takes the train.

1. Adverbs of frequency usually appear between the subject and the verb in a sentence


  • I always update the team at the beginning of the week

  • Mary often takes notes during the lectures

2. Adverbs of frequency in a sentence appear after a form of the to be - am, are, is (was, were)


  • I am never late for the session

  • They were always noisy before the beginning of the session

3. Adverbs of frequency usually go between an auxiliary verb and the main verb


  • Carla doesn't usually drink.

4. Adverbs of frequency can also go before the verbs used to or have to


  • She always used to pray before sleep

  • I usually have to get up early to go for practice

5. In case there are two auxiliary verbs in a sentence, the adverb of frequency goes between them


  • I have never been to Singapore

6. In some cases, the adverbs of frequency often, usually, sometimes and occasionally can go at the beginning of the sentence


  • Usually, I don't play tennis on weekdays. = I don't usually play tennis on week days.

  • Occasionally they go for a long drive. = They occasionally go for a long drive

7. If something happens regularly at a fixed time, the following adverbs of frequency can be used- Every Week-weekly, Every Year-Yearly, Every Fortnight-Fortnightly


  • I get the match updates every day= I get the match updates daily

  • Jim go over the bills every fortnight= Jim go over the bills fortnightly

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