Learn how to talk about how often something happens, and do the exercises to practise it.
The commonest adverbials of frequency are:
We usually put these one-word adverbials of frequency in front of the main verb:
We often spend Christmas with friends.
I have never enjoyed myself so much.
but they usually come after the verb be:
He was always tired in the evening.
We are never late for work.
Sometimes these adverbials have an intensifier or mitigator:
He is very rarely late for work.
We nearly always spend Christmas with friends.
We use the adverbial a lot to mean often or frequently. It comes at the end of the clause:
We go to the cinema a lot.
We can also use a lot with another time adverbial:
We go to the cinema a lot at the weekend.
We use much/a lot with a negative to mean not often:
We don't go out much/a lot. (= We don't go out often.)
- How often 1
We often use phrases with every as adverbials of frequency. We use every with words like minute, hour, day, week, month and year:
There is a big celebration every year.
We have a meeting twice every week.
I usually go home once every two months.
There is a leap year every four years.
We also use every with days of the week and months of the year:
We have a meeting every Monday.
We go on holiday every August.
We use the phrase every other:
We will email you every other day. (= on alternate days)
We go to see my mother every other week. (= in alternate weeks)
We use phrases with once, twice, three times, four times, etc. and a period of time:
I go swimming twice a week.
I see my old school friends four or five times a year.
- How often 2
We use how often and ever to ask questions about frequency. how often comes at the beginning of the clause:
How often do you go to the cinema?
How often have you been here?
ever comes before the main verb:
Do you ever go to the cinema at the weekend?
Have you ever been there?