The Position of the Adverbs of Frequency

Coach Karyme ❤️

We use adverbs of frequency in this order, according to their meaning.

With the present simple, we often use adverbs of frequency to say ‘how often’ we do something or to describe how frequently we do an activity. Here’s a list of common adverbs:

  • always
  • frequently
  • generally
  • hardly ever
  • infrequently
  • never
  • normally
  • occasionally
  • often
  • rarely
  • regularly
  • seldom
  • sometimes
  • usually

* Some people pronounce the ‘T’ in often but many others do not.

The Position of the Adverb in a Sentence

An adverb of frequency goes before the main verb.

1.- Subject + adverb of frequency + main verb

She always releases the newspaper in the kitchen.

He normally gets good marks in his English exams.

An adverb of frequency goes after the verb To Be.

2.- Subject + to be + adverb of frequency

We are never unhappy.

This time of the year isn’t usually the warmest.

There are always lots of people in the city center on Saturday nights.

It’s often difficult to find a place to park.

But our friends are never on time so it doesn’t matter if we’re late.

We can also use the following adverbs at the beginning or end of a sentence. This makes them stronger:

Usually, normally, often, frequently, sometimes, occasionally

  • Occasionally, I like to eat sushi.
  • Often I go to the movie theater.

It’s possible to put the adverbs ‘sometimes’ and ‘usually’ at the beginning of a sentence:

Sometimes she does her homework with friends.

Usually, they study on their own.

BUT we cannot use the following at the start of a sentence:

Always, seldom, rarely, hardly, ever, never.

We use hardly ever, never, seldom, and rarely with positive, not negative sentences, because they have double negative.

  • She hardly ever arrives late to work.
  • They never say ‘please and thank you’.

WRONG: The weather isn’t never sunny.

CORRECT: The weather is never sunny.

We use ever in questions and negative statements:

  • Have you ever been to New York?
  • I haven’t ever been to Egypt. (The same as ‘I have never been Egypt’).


Sometimes can go before the subject, before the main verb, and after the main verb.

Sometimes we go fishing.

We sometimes go fishing.

We go fishing sometimes. 

Adverbs of frequency and the present continuous

We usually use adverbs of frequency with the present simple, but they can also be used with the present continuous. The adverb comes between the auxiliary and the main verb.

He’s always losing her keys.

Adverbs of Definite Frequency

Here are some other expressions we can use to say ‘how often’. All of these longer phrases go at the beginning or the end of the sentence but never in the middle.

  • once in a while: He goes to the disco once in a while.
  • every now and again: My aunt and uncle drink prosecco every now and again.
  • from time to time: From time to time our grandma travels by train.

To say how often something happens, you can use a number or ‘several’ or ‘many’, followed by ‘times’.( If the number is one, use ‘once’ instead of ‘one time’. If the number is two use ‘twice,’ instead of ‘two times’) Then add ‘a’ and a period of time:

  • I go to the cinema twice a week.
  • She takes these tablets three times a day.
  • I change the sheets once a fortnight (fortnight = two weeks).
  • I meet him several times a year.
  • I visit my parents once a month.

We can also use the following expressions when we want to be more specific about the frequency:

  • every day
  • once a month
  • twice a year
  • four times a day
  • every other week
  • daily
  • monthly

We can also use ‘every’ + period of time:

  • every morning
  • every day
  • every Tuesday
  • every week
  • every month

These are also known as Adverbs of DEFINITE frequency as the exact frequency is specified.

A day of the week with ‘s’ at the end (for example ‘on Tuesdays‘) means the same as ‘every Tuesday’:

  • I take a dance class on Wednesdays.
  • I relax on Saturdays.

Coach Karyme ❤️

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