Adverbs of frequency are adverbs of time that answer the question of how often an action occurs. They describe how something happens either in definite or indefinite terms. The adverbs daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc. are said to describe definite frequencies because they specify an exact time frame. But the adverbs sometimes, often, usually, and always are said to describe indefinite frequencies because they don’t specify an exact time frame.
Most often, an adverb of frequency is placed before a verb.
- The Browns often see their son, Alain, at weekends.
- We usually do the shopping on Sundays.
But when the verb is a form of “to be” the adverb of frequency is placed after it.
- James is seldom late for school.
- My parents are never satisfied with the grades I get at school.
The following tables list the most common adverbs of frequency in English and illustrate how they are used.
|Subject||Adverbs of frequency||Verbs||Complement/Object|
|in deep water.|
|Subject||To be||Adverb of frequency||Complement/Object|
|often/usually/never/always/seldom||grateful for others.|
Adverbs of frequency: practice
Put the adverbs of frequency in the correct position
- They go to the movies. (often)
- She listens to classical music. (rarely)
- He reads the newspaper. (sometimes)
- Sara smiles. (never)
- She complains about her husband. (always)
- I drink coffee. (sometimes)
- Frank is ill. (often)
- He feels terrible (usually)
- I go jogging in the morning. (always)
- She helps her daughter with her homework. (never)
- We watch television in the evening. (always)
- I smoke. (never)
- I eat meat. (seldom)
- I eat vegetables and fruits.(always)