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Practice with the exercises:
Exercise 1

1. The frequency adverbs

The frequency adverbs are those adverbs that are used to express how regularly an action occurs.

ALWAYS

USUALLY

OFTEN

SOMETIMES

HARDLY EVER

NEVER

2. How are frequency adverbs used?

  • In affirmative sentences, the frequency adverbs are always placed after the subject and before the main verb.
    Subject + frequency adverb + main verb + (complement)
    We sometimes go to the theatre.
    I always go cycling on Sundays.
    Hardly ever and never have a negative meaning and are used in affirmative sentences, as in English, we can't say no twice in a sentence.
    My puppy hardly ever pees inside the house.
    Max never wants to work.
  • In negative sentences we place the frequency adverb between the auxiliary don't or doesn't and the main verb.
    Subject + don't/doesn't + frequency adverb + main verb + (complement)
    I don't often watch TV.
    He doesn't usually go shopping.
  • In interrogative sentences, the frequency adverb will be placed between the subject and the main verb.
    Do/does + subject + frequency adverb + main verb + (complement)?
    Do you always go to university by bus?
    Do you usually travel?

3. Frequency adverbs with the verb to be

When we want to use a frequency adverb with the verb to be, the sentence has a different structure from the one we have detailed above.

  • In affirmative sentences, the frequency adverb is placed after the verb to be
    Subject + to be + frequency adverb + complement
    Sally is always serious.
    Carl and Peter are usually angry.
  • When the sentence is negative, we simply add the frequency adverb after the verb to be in the negative form ('m not, isn't and aren't).
    Subject + to be + not + frequency adverb + complement
    Danny isn't usually nice.
    You aren't often at home.
  • In interrogative sentences, the frequency adverb will be placed between the subject and the complement.
    To be + subject + frequency adverb + complement?
    Why is Sally always tired?
    Are they sometimes at the beach?

Remember!

The adverbs of frequency are used to express how regularly an action occurs.
Frequency adverb Examples
Always Do you always drink milk for breakfast?
Usually We usually go cycling on Sundays.
Often Does Peter often go out with his friends?
Sometimes We sometimes go to the cinema.
Hardly ever Mary hardly ever watches TV.
Never They never go skiing.

 

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