9 Important Adverbs of Frequency for ESL Learners

We use adverbs of frequency to say how often we do something. Adverbs of frequency are often used with the Present Simple because they indicate repeated or routine activities.

Adverbs of Frequency

  • 100% – alwaysShe likes dancing. She always goes to the night club to dance.
  • 90% – usuallyThey usually quarrel. I rarely see them in good terms with each other.
  • 80% – normally / generallyI normally go to the gym.
  • 70% – often* / frequentlyThey often go out for dinner.
  • 50% – sometimesI don’t mind going to the theater. I sometimes go with my husband.
  • 30% – occasionallyI occasionally eat junk food.
  • 10% – seldomI seldom read the newspaper.
  • 5% – hardly ever / rarely I hardly ever drink alcohol.
  • 0% – neverI never go to the cinema. I don’t like it. / Never say never. (proverb)

The position of Adverbs of Frequency

Generally speaking, adverbs of frequency come before the main verb except for the main verb “to be”:

  • I sometimes visit my uncle.
  • We have often seen him pass by the house.
  • They are seldom at work.

Occasionally, sometimes, often, frequently and usually can also go at the beginning or end of a sentence:

  • Sometimes they visit him.
  • I miss him occasionally.

Rarely and seldom can also go at the end of a sentence (often with “very”):

  • We see them rarely.
  • John eats meat very seldom.

Adverbs of Frequency | Infographic

Adverbs of frequency

9 Important Adverbs of Frequency for ESL Learners 1

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Anita Shine
Anita Shine
1 year ago


11 months ago

Ex : ‘She can be never a teacher’ / ‘She can never be a teacher’, which one is correct ?

Juan Diego
Juan Diego
11 months ago
Reply to  James

option 2

9 months ago
Reply to  James

The last one I think!

3 months ago

Thank you, it is very interesting.

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