An adverb of frequency is a type of adverb that modifies the verb in a sentence and tells us how often an action happens.

what is an adverb of frequency

Adverbs of frequency are often used to talk about routines or activities you do a lot (or not very often).

 

For example: I always brush my teeth in the morning.

‘Always’ describes how often I brush my teeth. In this instance, it means every morning, without fail. The adverb of frequency is placed before the main verb in a sentence.

what is an adverb of frequency example - always

List of adverbs of frequency

Here is the most common adverbs of frequency and an indication of how frequent they are with some examples.

  • 100% – always
    example – I always study for an exam.
  • 90% – usually
    example – I usually walk to work.
  • 80% – normally/generally
    example She normally gets good marks.
  • 70% – often/frequently
    example – They are often partying until 3 am.
  • 50% – sometimes
    example – I sometimes sing in the shower.
  • 30% – occasionally
    example – We occasionally go to bed late.
  • 10% – seldom
    example – I seldom put salt on my food.
  • 5% – hardly ever/rarely
    example – He is hardly ever angry.
  • 0% – never
    example – Vegetarians never eat meat.
frequency of adverbs of frequency

Adverbs of frequency examples

Let’s see some examples in use.

always

This adverb describes actions that happen 100% of the time.

examples

  • Tom always eats porridge for breakfast.
  • We always play football at lunchtime.
  • I always call my mum on her birthday.
adverb of frequency example - always

usually

This adverb describes actions that happen 90% of the time.

examples

  • I usually make the dinner.
  • I usually do my homework.
  • Kimmy usually passes her exams.
adverb of frequency example - usually

normally/generally

This adverb describes actions that happen 80% of the time.

examples

  • They normally have a takeaway on Saturday night.
  • May generally drives to work.
  • I normally wash my hair every day.
adverb of frequency example - normally or generally

often/frequently

This adverb describes actions that happen 70% of the time.

examples

  • I often do the dishes.
  • We frequently visit my aunt.
  • Graham often plays rugby.
adverb of frequency example - often or frequently

sometimes

This adverb describes actions that happen 50% of the time.

examples

  • Kyle sometimes goes to chess club.
  • We sometimes get our groceries delivered.
  • I sometimes take the dog to the beach.
adverb of frequency example - sometimes

occasionally

This adverb describes actions that happen 30% of the time.

examples

  • We occasionally have a date night.
  • Mum lets me have dessert occasionally.
  • I go to church occasionally.
adverb of frequency example - occasionally

seldom

This adverb describes actions that happen 10% of the time.

examples

  • I seldom go on Instagram.
  • Chris seldom hoovers his car.
  • We seldom get the kids a KFC.
adverb of frequency example - seldom

hardly ever/rarely

This adverb describes actions that happen 5% of the time.

examples

  • I hardly ever have a bath; I prefer a shower.
  • Liam rarely gets less than 100% on his spelling tests.
  • My husband hardly ever loads the dishwasher.
adverb of frequency example - hardly ever or rarely

never

This adverb describes actions that happen 0% of the time.

examples

  • My wife never cooks for me.
  • The kids never take the dog for a walk.
  • I never take lunch to work.
adverb of frequency example - never

sentence structure

There are a few different places you can put the adverb in a sentence. Let’s take a look.

subject + adverb + main verb

For example:

  • I sometimes teach Maths at school.
  • We occasionally go to the cinema after school.
  • Shona hardly ever buys expensive shoes.
  • They usually order a Hawaiian pizza.
adverbs of frequency word order - subject + adverb + main verb
adverbs of frequency word order - subject + adverb + main verb2

subject + auxiliary + adverb + main verb

For example:

  • I have never eaten bugs before.
  • My parents have always supported me.
  • We have often seen him in the park.
  • He has hardly ever seen his son.
adverbs of frequency word order - subject + auxiliary + adverb + main verb
adverbs of frequency word order - subject + auxiliary + adverb + main verb

subject + be + adverb

For example:

  • He is always happy.
  • I am sometimes afraid of the dark.
  • You are always late.
  • We are normally in bed by 10.
subject + be + adverb - always
adverbs of frequency word order - subject + be + adverb - sometimes

auxiliary + subject + adverb

For example:

  • Does he always sleep rough?
  • Are they often this grumpy mum?
  • Does he always cry at men?
  • Are they sometimes late for work?
  • Does she usually have blue hair?
  • Are you often at the home games?
adverbs of frequency word order - auxiliary + subject + adverb - always
adverbs of frequency word order - auxiliary + subject + adverb - often

always/never + main verb

For example:

  • Mum said never go down the mine.
  • Always hold the reins tightly.
  • Never drink wine on an empty stomach.
  • Always stick to the paths.
adverbs of frequency word order - always or never + main verb
adverbs of frequency word order - always or never + main verb

normally/occasionally/often/sometimes/usually + subject + main verb

For example:

  • Normally I go to tennis lessons.
  • Occasionally I eat meat.
  • Often, they come around for dinner.
  • Sometimes we eat bamboo.
  • Usually, the dog eats tinned food.
adverb + subject + main verb - occasionally
adverb + subject + main verb - sometimes

frequently/often/normally/sometimes at the end of a sentence

For example:

  • White lightning wins frequently.
  • We go for a walk along the beach often.
  • She dyes her hair often.
  • The joyrider gets away sometimes.
adverb of frequency at the end of a sentence - frequently
adverb of frequency at the end of a sentence - sometimes