Grammar Rules

Adverbs of Frequency

What are adverbs of frequency?

Adverbs that change or qualify the meaning of a sentence by telling us how often or how frequently something happens are defined as adverbs of frequency. An adverb of frequency is exactly what it sounds like – an adverb of time. Adverbs of frequency always describe how often something occurs, either in definite or indefinite terms. An adverb that describes definite frequency is one such as weekly, daily, or yearly. An adverb describing indefinite frequency doesn’t specify an exact time frame; examples are sometimes, often, and rarely.

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Adverbs of Frequency Rules

These simple rules for adverbs of frequency will help you to use them correctly:
  • Always use adverbs of frequency to discuss how often something happens.
  • Adverbs of frequency are often used to indicate routine or repeated activities, so they are often used with the present simple tense.
  • If a sentence has only one verb, place the adverb of frequency in the middle of the sentence so that it is positioned after the subject but before the verb. For example: Tom never flies. He always takes the bus.
  • When a sentence contains more than one verb, place the adverb of frequency before the main verb. For example: They have often visited Europe.
  • When using an adverb of frequency in the negative or in forming a question, place it before the main verb. For example: Do you usually get up so late?

Examples of Adverbs of Frequency

Each sentence contains an example of an adverb of frequency; the examples are italicized for easy identification.
  1. The incubator turns each egg hourly.
  2. We take a vacation at least once annually.
  3. I usually shop for groceries on Saturday mornings.
  4. He is often late for work.
  5. We seldom see John.
  6. My dentist told me I should floss twice daily.

Adverbs of Frequency Exercises

The following exercises will help you to gain better understanding about how adverbs of frequency work. Choose the best answer to complete each sentence. 1. I ________________ late on Saturdays. a. Get up usually b. Get usually up c. Usually get up Answer: C. I usually get up late on Saturdays. 2. Jared ______________ late for work. a. Never is b. Is never Answer: A. Jared is never late for work. 3. _______________ on weekends? a. Often do you travel b. Do you often travel c. Often you do travel Answer: B. Do you often travel on weekends? 4. Susan ________________ early for class. a. Often is b. Are often c. Often are d. Is often Answer: D. Susan is often early for class. 5. When do you ____________ go on vacation each year? a. Always b. Never c. Usually d. Ever Answer: When do you usually go on vacation each year?  

Adverbs of Frequency List

This list of adverbs of frequency contains many of the most common; keep in mind though that there are many other words which can serve in this capacity. Always Annually Constantly Daily Eventually Ever Frequently Generally Hourly Infrequently Later Monthly Never Next Nightly Normally Now Occasionally Often Quarterly Rarely Regularly Sometimes Soon Then Today Tonight Weekly Yearly Yesterday Yet