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Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of Frequency

Adverb is a word that usually tells more about verb or it gives more information about verb. There are some types of adverbs. One of them is adverbs of frequency that we discuss in this article.

Adverbs of frequency

What are adverbs of frequency?

By adverbs of frequency we mean the number of occurrences. Adverbs of frequency tell the number of occurrences of something. In simple words, they tell us that how often something happens. The word that is used to answer the question “How does something happen?” is called adverb of frequency.

  • They never smoke.
  • I visit my uncle twice.
  • She often takes tea with biscuits.
  • always study English for three hours.
  • We meet to discuss the progress weekly.

Types of frequency adverbs

Adverbs of frequency are categorized as adverbs of definite frequency and adverbs of indefinite frequency.

Adverbs of definite frequency

Adverb of definite frequency is one that tells us the specific frequency of occurrence.

  • Once, twice, weekly, monthly
  • We have two casual leaves monthly.
  • You have to check up once in a month.

Adverbs of indefinite frequency

Adverb of indefinite frequency is one that does not tell the exact frequency of occurrence.

  • Always, often, usually, sometime
  • He often goes to office by bus.
  • He never comes late.

Percentage-wise frequency of adverbs of indefinite frequency

















Rarely/hardly ever





Position of adverbs of frequency

Before main verb

When there is just one verb in a sentence, we use adverbs of frequency in the middle of the sentence before the verb.

  • often visit my father-in-law.
  • He always studies for five hours.

After the verb be

We usually place adverbs of frequency after the verbs be in a sentence. This rule is not applied in short answers and if the adverbs of frequency are used at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.

  • Ali is not usually late.
  • I am never asked to speak.

Between the helping verb and the main verb

When we have both the auxiliary verb and the main verb in a sentence, we put the adverbs of frequency between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.

  • People can ever complain about the facilities provided by the government.
  • He should always appreciate your kind gesture.

Before used to and have to

Adverbs of frequency are put before ‘used to’ and ‘have to’ in a sentence.

  • We always have to be more careful about our children.
  • We sometimes used to go on hiking.

At the beginning or end

We can place adverbs of frequency at the beginning or end of the sentence.

  • Generally, we speak in formal language at the office.
  • We visit to Karachi frequently.

Usually, sometimes, normally, occasionally, often and frequently are used at the beginning or end of the clause.

  • Sometimes, we ignore some of our friends.
  • We ignore some of our friends sometimes.

Seldom, rarely, hardly ever, and never are placed at the end of the sentence. In some cases, they are used at the beginning of the polemic sentences with changed sentence structure.

  • Never have I told you!
  • Rarely do we call you.

In questions

Adverbs of frequency are placed before main verbs in the form of questions. Most of the people don’t use “never”, “seldom”, “rarely” in questions.

  • Do you often visit your relatives?
  • Does she usually eat eggs in breakfast?

In negatives

Similarly as in questions, we put adverbs of frequency before main verbs. Remember that adverbs of negative senses are not used in negatives sentences.

  • We don’t often visit our relatives.
  • She does not usually eat eggs in breakfast.

Position of definite frequency adverbs

We typically put adverbs of definite frequency at the end of the sentences. In some cases especially for emphasis or style, we place them at the beginning of the sentences. Definite frequency adverbs are not placed in the middle of the sentences.

  • Many schools receive tuition fee yearly.
  • We go to school daily.
  • Every day, I buy candies for my children.

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