Adverbs of Frequency & Expressions of Frequency.

Adverbs of Frequency & Expressions of Frequency.

What are Adverbs of Frequency?

We use adverbs of frequency to say how often we do things. For example

“A vegetarian never eats meat.”

Where to Place Adverbs of Frequency.

Adverbs of frequency go before the main verb

for example

“She always complains when we eat out!”

but adverbs of frequency go after the verb to be or modal verbs.

“I am sometimes still hungry after lunch.”

Examples of Adverbs of Frequency

This table shows some common adverbs of frequency. The are in descending order, starting with “Always” which mean 100% of the time and finishing with “Never” which means 0% of the time.

Adverb of FrequencyExampleExample with “to be” / modal verbs
AlwaysI always have a healthy breakfast.I am always hungry in the morning
UsuallyI usually eat with my family.I am usually too busy to eat a large lunch.
Normally / GenerallyI normally have a snack between lunch and dinner.I am normally full after my dinner.
Often / FrequentlyI often have dessert when we eat out.I am often interested in trying new dishes.
SometimesI sometimes have a snack late at night!I am sometimes too lazy to cook.
OccasionallyI occasionally have take-away food.I am occasionally able to buy really good quality steak.
SeldomI seldom eat in very expensive restaurants.I am seldom too full to eat dessert!
Hardly Ever / RarelyI hardly ever bake cakes.I am hardly ever late for dinner with friends.
NeverI never eat meat, I’m vegetarian!I can never find all the ingredients for exotic dishes.
Adverbs of Frequency with Examples
fruit salads in plate
Adverbs of frequency and expressions of frequency can be used to say how often we do things, like eat certain foods.

Expressions of Frequency

Another way of talking about how often we do things is using expressions of frequency, such as

“I go shopping once a week

An expression of frequency

We can combine a number of times or an adverb with a period of time

Examples of Expressions of Frequency


twice / a couple of times

three times

four times

five times


a day

a week

a fortnight

a month

a year

a decade

Position of Expressions of Frequency

Expressions of frequency usually go at the end of the sentence or clause.

So we could say that

“I cook every day.”

“I go shopping twice a week.”

“I eat out once a month.”

“We have take-away food once a week.”

Example Expressions of Frequency