Unit 4.2

Adverbs of Frequency


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Introduction

Adverbs are nouns that function as modifiers of other elements of the clause. They can provide a wide range of information.

Adverbs of frequency are used to provide information about the frequency of an event.

Form

Adverbs are usually positioned after auxiliary verbs (to be/to have) or before other verbs.

We use adverbs of frequency to describe the frequency of an event (indefinite and definite).

The most commonly used adverbs of frequency are:

  • adverbs of indefinite frequency: now and then, seldom, occasionally, frequently, regularly, constantly
  • adverbs of definite frequency: daily, weekly, monthly, periodically, yearly

Example

Adverbs of indefinite frequency:

  • I think about you now and then. 
  • You seldom go to the beach.
  • He has a flat in London now, but he still comes home occasionally.
  • We frequently have headaches.
  • You exercise regularly.
  • They constantly wear a cap.

Adverbs of definite frequency:

  • You go running daily.
  • Martin has weekly visits from his mother.
  • We do physical exercise monthly.
  • He periodically complains about everything I do.
  • They pay for the ambulance service yearly.

Use

We use adverbs of frequency (indefinite and definite) to describe the frequency of an event (how often/frequently something happens):

  • adverbs of indefinite frequency are used to express the idea about the frequency, but don’t show information of exactly how often something happens;
  • adverbs of definite frequency are used to express exactly how often something happens.

Summary

Adverbs of frequency give information about the frequency of an event or action.

  • The most commonly used adverbs of indefinite frequency (not exact) are: now and then, seldom, occasionally, frequently, regularly, constantly
  • The most commonly used adverbs of definite frequency (exact) are: daily, weekly, monthly, periodically, yearly

For example:
— “I seldom go to the gym.” = The subject (I) goes to gym only occasionally.
— “I’m periodically going to the gym.” = The subject (I) often goes to the gym.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

Exercises

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