Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of Frequency: Definition and Free Examples for Beginners
We use the adverbs of frequency to say how often we do something. Adverbs of frequency are often used with the present simple because they indicate repeated  or routine activities.

Adverbs of frequency include (from most often to least often):

For example:

  • always usually often sometimes occasionally seldom rarely never.

If the sentence has one verb (e.g. no auxiliary verb) put the adverb in the middle of the sentence after the subject and before the verb.

For example: 

  • Tom usually goes to work by car.

Adverbs of frequency come after the verb ‘be’.

For example: 

  • I am never late for work.

If the sentence has more than one verb (e.g. auxiliary verb), put the adverb of frequency before the main verb.

For example: 

  • They have often visited Rome.

When using adverbs of frequency in the question or negative form, put the adverb of frequency before the main verb.

For example:

  • Do you usually get up early?
Frequency Adverb of Frequency Example Sentence
100% always I always go to bed before 11pm.
90% usually I usually have cereal for breakfast.
80% normally / generally I normally go to the gym.
70% often* / frequently I often surf the internet.
50% sometimes I sometimes forget my wife’s birthday.
30% occasionally I occasionally eat junk food.
10% seldom I seldom read the newspaper.
5% hardly ever / rarely I hardly ever drink alcohol.
0% never I never swim in the sea.

 Rules about the Adverbs of Frequency:

  • Frequency adverbs can be placed at various points in the sentence, but are most commonly used before the main verbs and after be verbs.
  • The adverbs seldomrarelynever and hardly ever are considered negative.

Other frequency adverbs and expressions are as follows:

  • Every day/week/month
  • Every other day/week
  • Once a week/month/year
  • Twice a year/day, etc.
  • (Every) once in a while
  • Every so often

These expressions are used at the beginning and end of sentences, not before main verbs.

Examples:

  • Every once in a while I go to the cinema. (Correct)
  • I go to the cinema every once in a while. (Correct)
  • I every once in a while go to the cinema.  (Incorrect)

These words can come at various points in the sentence.

Examples:

  • regularly check up.
  • I check up regularly.