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Adverbs of Frequency

The most common frequency adverbs in English are:

[wps_table style=”default”]

Always100% of the time
Frequencyabout 90% of the time
Usuallyabout 80% of the time
Oftenabout 70% of the time
Sometimesabout 50% of the time
Occasionallyabout 40% of the time
Seldomabout 20% of the time
Rarelyabout 10% of the time
Neverabout 0% of the time


[wps_note size=”17″ background=”#81DAF5″ color=”#333333″ radius=”3″]Note: The percentages here are rough estimates only.Frequency adverbs can be placed at various points in the sentence, but are most commonly used before the main verbs and after be verbs.[/wps_note]

  • always come to work on time.
  • They are seldom home when we call.
  • He’s usually eating breakfast at this time.
  • She’s never been to Maine.


  • A: Do you come here often?
  • B: Yes. I’m here occasionally.
  • A: What do you usually do here?
  • B: Sometimes I just sit and ponder the meaning of life.

[wps_note size=”17″ background=”#81DAF5″ color=”#333333″ radius=”3″]Note: The adverbs seldom, rarely, never and hardly ever are considered negative.[/wps_note]

  • A: Do you always carry a briefcase?
  • B: (Yes,) I usually do.
  • No, I usually don’t.
  • No, I rarely do.
  • No, I hardly ever do.

Other frequency adverbs and expressions are as follows:

  • Every day/week/month
  • Every other day/week
  • Once a week/month/year
  • Twice a year/day, etc.
  • (Every) once in a while
  • Every so often

These expressions are used at the beginning and end of sentences, not before main verbs.

  • Every once in a while I visit my grandmother in Minnesota.
  • I visit my grandmother in Minnesota every once in a while.
  • I every once in a while visit my grandmother in Minnesota. (Incorrect)

These words can come at various points in the sentence.

  • regularly floss my teeth.
  • I floss my teeth regularly.
  • Traditionally, that was considered child’s play.
  • normally get up around 6 o’clock.
  • Normally, I get up around 6 o’clock.

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Regularly(according to schedule)
Normally(commonly nowadays)
Traditionally(commonly in the past)


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