As a part of our adjectives and adverbs grammar practise, in this lesson we use positive and negative adverbs of frequency like “sometimes” or “usually” with the present simple tense to explain how often, or how many times something happens.
Adverbs of frequency are also known as adverbs of time (as opposed to adverbs of manner e.g. quickly, well, loudly, or adjectives, e.g. quick, loud, good).
Questions are often the basis for using this type of adverb−when you are expecting an answer to an activity, for example.
Question: “How often do you revise your grammar rules?”
Answer: “I usually practise my English grammar rules every day.”
Examples of positive adverbs Question form
Question: How many times do you do homework every week?
Answer: I usually do my homework every day while I watch tv. (Not the most dedicated student!)
Examples of negative adverbs question form
Question: Why don’t you learn the position of adverbs more frequently−your vocabulary, grammar, and speaking will improve?
Answer: I don’t usually practise on weekends; twice a week I prefer to use my teacher’s sentence worksheets when doing my grammar homework.
Grammar Rules: types of adverbs of frequency
Adverbs of frequency can be divided up into two parts:
Definite Adverbs of frequency and normal adverbs of frequency.
Let’s look at the differences between the two as there are grammar rules to define differences in the position of adverbs in sentences:
Definite Adverbs of Frequency
Look at the form of these examples of adverbs of frequency:
- daily, weekly, yearly – using these in a sentence shows a definite frequency.
- often, sometimes, rarely – these are regular adverbs of frequency.
Question: What do you like to do every week?
Answer: I usually like to do any activity that helps me improve my adjectives and adverbs grammar.
Question: What is your favourite vocabulary learning exercise?
Answer: I frequently learn general grammar rules every week so that I can pass my IELTS writing exam next month.
Question: What do you usually have for dinner?
Answer: To answer the question, something simple as we are usually quite busy with work on weekdays.
What are the rules of frequency adverbs when speaking or making sentences?
In the English language, when writing or speaking the actual frequency of adverbs is as follows:
Always Usually / Normally Often / Frequently Sometimes Occasionally Seldom Hardly ever / Rarely Never
What is the correct usage and position of common Frequency adverbs?
When we use frequency adverbs with the present simple, the position of adverbs is important. The adverb comes before the main verb in the sentence as this provides extra emphasis:
- I always work on my Spanish verbs by practising my teacher’s lesson plans.
- I never play football in the snow.
- Usually, I find perfect tense verbs a little difficult.
- I usually don’t click on targeted ads.
- We usually visit my parents every weekend.
- I sometimes go to the gym. (also: Sometimes I go to the gym).
- I seldom finish work before 6 pm.
- I rarely read newspapers any more.
BUT in some cases, with the verb to be (which can also be used as an auxiliary verb), they come after the verb:
- I am usually late for work.
- You are never on time.
If you put them at the beginning of a sentence this adds emphasis:
- Usually, I am late for work. (more emphasis)
- Rarely do we have a worksheet for grammar rules from our teacher.
- Occasionally I enter ESL gaming competitions.
What are the exceptions to grammar rules for Adverbs of Frequency?
There are a number of exceptions to these rules above (it wouldn’t be the English language if there weren’t exceptions!).
“Always” never comes at the end of the sentence.
“Never,” “rarely,” and “seldom” never go at the end of a sentence. They are usually at the beginning, in what are known as “polemic sentences.”
- Rarely do I ever watch tv; I prefer reading the written word.
- Never do I drink coffee.
Short form answers on a subject are another exception. For example:
Statement: John is late again!
Short form answer: John is frequently late.
We will be preparing some a lesson plan and worksheet for this exercise so do sign up below for free English language lessons.