What is an adverb of frequency?
Adverb of frequency is a word that tells us how frequently or how often something happens.
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- I always eat breakfast in the morning, even when I am late for work.
1. List of the most common adverbs of frequency:
- hardly ever
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2. Position in a sentence
a) We usually put the adverbs of frequency in the middle of the sentence, between the subject and the verb, but after auxiliary verbs:
- I often go to the beach.
- He sometimes visits his grandma.
- They usually drink coffee in the mornings.
- I hardly ever help my mom in the kitchen.
b) Auxiliary verbs:
- He is usually very happy.
- We are always helping the children at school.
- I have never done anything bad.
- She is always cooking pasta.
NOTE: the verbs have, has, and had are auxiliary verbs only when used with past participle:
- I have never eaten a snake.
- She has never tried coconut water.
But has, have, and had are normal verbs when they are not used with past participle:
- I always have my lunch at school.
- He seldom has English classes.
- We often had dinner late at night in college.
c) We can put occasionally, frequently, usually, often and sometimes in the beginning of the sentence in order to make it stronger. However, other adverbs do not sound good in the beginning of the sentence:
- Occasionally, I go to the beach.
- Sometimes he visits his grandma.
- Usually, they drink coffee in the mornings.
- Always I go to the beach. INCORRECT
- I always go to the beach. CORRECT
- Often, I go to the beach. INCORRECT
- I often go to the beach. CORRECT
NOTE: the verbs do, does, and did are auxiliary verbs only when they are used in questions or negatives:
- Do you often go to the cinema?
- He doesn’t always eat grapes.
In other cases, do, does and did are normal verbs:
- She never sleeps at home.
- They rarely did their chores.
If the auxiliary verb is negative the adverb of frequency might go before or after it:
- He doesn’t usually cook at home.
- He usually doesn’t cook at home.
- They don’t often go to the cinema.
- They often don’t go to the cinema.
- We aren’t always late for work.
- We always aren’t late for work. INCORRECT (say ‘We are never late for work’)
e) In the question, we put the adverbs of frequency before the main verb:
- Do you often go to the beach?
- Do you sometimes visit your grandma?
- Is she always late for soccer practice?
- Are they usually so grumpy?
I hope you find this information useful.