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Adverbs of Frequency – Definition, Examples, and Usage

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Adverbs of Frequency are defined as words that modify verbs to tell us how often something happens Go through this blog post to get a detailed overview of adverbs of frequency, and how to use them with all suitable examples.

Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of Frequency

What is adverb frequency? this question may arise in your mind when you heard the word Adverb frequency. Every word plays an important role in conveying the intended meaning and engaging the reader. Using adverbs gives in-depth clarity and impacts your speaking and writing. In this article, we will explore the concept of adverb frequency, rules, uses, and examples.

What is the Adverb of Frequency?

An adverb of frequency makes sense of the number of times a task has happened, is happening, or will happen. An adverb shows the frequency of an action called an adverb of frequency. Adverbs of frequency tell how often or how frequently an action is done. We use some main adverbs of frequency in English: never, always, daily, once, twice, again, seldom, regularly, usually (or normally), often, sometimes, rarely, and occasionally.

Adverb of Frequency Definition

Asking the question with the verb How often? which words come in answer that’s the adverb of frequency. such as:

  • He came here twice.
    came how often-twice
  • I have always helped you.
    Helped how often-always 

In other words, what you can use to describe how often you do an activity are called adverbs of frequency. The Adverb is a that word modifies and describes a verb, adjective, or group of words. But Adverbs of frequency typically modify verbs, or action words, and show how often they occur. The Adverbs of frequency can be placed after the noun or pronoun that acts as the subject and before the verb if there is just one verb comes in a sentence.

Adverbs of Frequency Rules

These are some simple rules for adverbs of frequency that will help to use them correctly:

Rule 1- Adverbs of frequency are words that tell how often something happens: always, usually, often, sometimes, rarely, seldom, never, again, daily.

Rule 2- In the sentence, the adverb of frequency usually comes after be but before other verbs. A verb has two parts (has eaten), and the adverb of frequency occurs between the two parts (has never eaten). 

Rule 3- The word sometimes can occur in all three places: (i) in front of a sentence, (ii) in the middle of a sentence, or (iii) at the end of a sentence. 

For example:

  • Sometimes we practice together. 
  • We sometimes practice together.
  • We practice together sometimes

Rule 4- To know about the frequency of an action, use ever or How often.

For example:

  •  Do you ever play golf?
  •  How often do you play golf? 

Rule 5- Negative adverbs of frequency like rarely, seldom, and never should be used with an affirmative verb. Two negatives are not possible.

Rule 6- When using the adverb of frequency in the negative or in forming a question, come before the main verb.

For example: 

  • Do you usually get up so late?

Rule 7- In a sentence that contains more than one verb, place the adverb of frequency before the main verb.

For example: 

  • They have often visited Europe. 

Rule 8- Adverbs of frequency are often used to indicate routine or repeated activities, so you can often use them with the present simple tense

Rule 9- It comes only one verb in a sentence, places the adverb of frequency in the middle of the sentence so that it is positioned after the subject but comes before the verb. 

For example: 

  • Jerry never flies. He always takes the bus. 

How to Use the Adverb of Frequency?

The order of words can be tricky with adverbs. Do the adverbs of frequency go in a sentence, At the beginning or the end? Does the adverb go before or after the verb? Let’s look at some of the rules!

  • Most adverbs of frequency go in the middle of a sentence, but come before the main verb:
    Subject + adverb of frequency + main verb.

Here are some examples:

  • He wears a hat. If you know how often he wears a hat, then I need to use an adverb. Here verb is ‘wear’ so the adverb goes before it: He always wears a hat.
  • He is late. Again, if you see the frequency of his lateness, then I need an adverb. Here verb is ‘late’ so the adverb of frequency would go before it: He is always late.
  • There are some auxiliary verbs (e.g. have, will, shall, would, should, can, could, may, might, must) followed by the main verb, and then the adverb comes between the auxiliary verb and the main verb:
    Subject + auxiliary verb + adverb of frequency + main verb.

Here are some examples:

  • Positive: He must listen to her teacher. ‘Must’ is the auxiliary verb and ‘listen’ is the main verb, so you put the adverb of frequency in the middle: He must always listen to her teacher
  • Negative: He does not go to bed until it is dark. This time ‘do not’ is the auxiliary verb, ‘go’ is the main verb, and I put the adverb of frequency between them: He does not usually go to bed until it is dark.
  • Question: Has Navjot lived in Amritsar? As usual, the subject and auxiliary verb change place in question order. The adverb of frequency comes between the auxiliary verb (has) and the main verb (lived), and immediately after the subject (Navjot): Has Navjot always lived in Amritsar?
  • Using an adverb with the verb ‘to be’, you need to be careful with the order of words because the adverb of frequency comes after it (not before):
    Subject + to be + adverb of frequency.

Here are some examples:

  • I am always tired after work. 
  • She is never.
  • They are constantly.
  • Some adverbs of frequency can come at the beginning of a sentence:
    Adverb of frequency + subject + main verb
    The adverbs that come to the beginning of a sentence are: Frequently, generally, typically, occasionally, sometimes, and usually. 

Here are some examples:

  • Generally, I go to the shops on Sunday morning before they get busy. (We can also put the adverb between the subject and main verb: I generally go…)
  • Occasionally, They go to a restaurant for dinner. (or They occasionally go…)
  • Normally, He gets the bus to work. (or He normally gets…)

Adverb of Frequency Examples

Here are some examples of Adverbs of Frequency using frequency:

Adverbs of frequencies

Uses of Frequency

Example

Always

100%

1. I always wake up at 7 o’clock.

2. I always go to bed before 11 p.m.

Usually

90%

1. I usually come home after the office.

2. I usually have sprouted grains for breakfast.

Normally/ Generally

80%

1. I normally go for a morning walk.

2. I normally swim after office work.

Often/ Frequently

70%

1. I often spend New Year’s party with friends

2. I often surf the internet.

Sometimes

50%

1. I sometimes forget my sister’s birthday.

2. I sometimes play cricket on the weekend.

Occasionally

30%

1. I occasionally eat South Indian food

2. I occasionally eat veg food.

Seldom

10%

1. I seldom read magazines.

2. I seldom go to the school library.

Rarely / Hardly ever

5%

1. I rarely listen to the FM radio.

2. I hardly ever drink beer.

Never

0%

1. I never listen to soft music.

2. I never swim in the river.

List of commonly used Adverb of Frequency

The most common use is adverbs of frequency; keep in mind that there are many other words that can serve in this capacity.

Tonight

Today

Annually

Hourly

Frequently

Now

Ever

Eventually

Next

Monthly

Later

Then

Sometimes

Hardly ever

Yesterday

Nightly

Soon

Daily

Occasionally

Constantly

Periodically

Regularly

Yearly

Quarterly

Never

Rarely

Often

Seldom

Infrequently

Yet

Always

Normally

Generally

Weekly

Soon

Types of Adverb of Frequency:

Adverbs of frequency can be subdivided into two categories: 

  1. Definite frequency adverbs
  2. Indefinite frequency adverbs.

1. Definite frequency adverbs:- Definite frequency adverbs tell us about the exact time and frequency of happening something. They include words like ‘hourly,’ ‘daily,’ ‘weekly,’ and ‘yearly,’ all of which give a definite amount of time. These are examples of definite frequency adverbs, daily, weekly, or yearly are the adverbs that tell us about the exact time and frequency.

2. Indefinite frequency adverbs:- Indefinite frequency adverbs do not tell us about the exact time and frequency of happening something. They include words like ‘rarely,’ ‘often,’ ‘always,’ ‘never,’ and ‘sometimes.’ The amount of time described by these words is unclear because it depends on the context they are used in. Annually, ever, etc. are examples of indefinite frequency adverbs.

Difference between Adverb of Time and Frequency:-

An adverb of time indicates when or for how long an action takes place or will take place.

  • It’s indicating a point in time.
  • Inform the past: For instance words such as the day before, yesterday, ago, last month/week/year shows the past.
  • Inform the present: For instance words such as yet, still, while, and when shows the present.
  • Speaking future: For instance words such as soon, next, then, week/year/month, tomorrow, in 5 days, and the day after tomorrow indicate the future.
  • Indicating period of time: For instance words such as for, since, two days, one year, three weeks, and four months  indicate the length of a time period.

Adverbs of frequency tell us how often or how frequently an action takes place

  •  He rarely drinks milk.
  • He goes to the library regularly.

The most common difference between adverbs of time and frequency is that adverbs of frequency give extra information on how often an action happens as opposed to when it happens.

Adverbs of Frequency Exercises:

Fill in the blanks by choosing the appropriate adverbs of frequency from the list given below.
(every now and then, seldom, rarely, usually, eventually, frequently, hardly ever, occasionally, always, often)

  1. James …….. plays tennis in the evening.
  2. They come here ………
  3. The place is …….. crowded.
  4. Rajkumari has …….. gone on any trip.
  5. My friends and their families get together ………
  6. She …….. keeps a check on her son.
  7. Does Ram visit you ……..?
  8. You will figure out how to do it ………
  9. The trains here are …….. late.
  10. He …….. goes home during the weekends.

Answers:

  1. James always plays tennis in the evening.
  2. They come here every now and then.
  3. The place is rarely crowded.
  4. Rajkumari has hardly ever gone on any trip.
  5. My friends and their families get together occasionally.
  6. She frequently keeps a check on her son.
  7. Does Ram visit you often?
  8. You will figure out how to do it eventually.
  9. The trains here are seldom late.
  10. He usually goes home during the weekends.

FAQs on Adverbs of Frequency

Q1. What is the meaning of adverbs of frequency?

The adverb of frequency is a word that is employed in a sentence to give more information about the verb, adjective, or another adverb. An adverb of frequency describes how often an action happens. We use six main adverbs of frequency in English: always, usually (or normally), often, sometimes, rarely, and never.

Q2. Where do we place adverbs of frequency in a sentence?

Adverbs of frequency can be placed after the noun or pronoun that acts as the subject and before the verb if there is just one verb in a sentence. If there is more than one verb in a sentence (e.g., auxiliary verb), the adverb of frequency can be positioned before the main verb.

Q3. Is it almost an adverb of frequency?

Almost is not an adverb of frequency. But Almost always are the adverbs of frequency, it’s used almost always – 80-90%. Most of the time it happens, but sometimes it doesn’t. usually – 75%.

Q4. What are some examples of adverbs of frequency?

Often, seldom, rarely, every now and then, hardly ever, sometimes, never, always, occasionally, eventually, etc. are some examples of adverbs of frequency.



Last Updated : 26 Oct, 2023
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