You are here

How often

Level: beginner

The commonest adverbials of frequency are:

always never normally
rarely seldom sometimes
occasionally often usually

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

ReorderingHorizontal_MTU3NTc=

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

GapFillTyping_MTU3NzE=

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?

Comments

Hello Michael,

After modal verbs such as 'should', the base form (i.e. infinitive without 'to') is used, not the -ing form. Does that help?

Best regards,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
Thanx a lot u explained it in detail
I need one more favour, plz explain what is difference between use of often n very oftern.
e.g: i often change the curtains in my room.
I very often change the curtains in my room.
How will we decide where to use often n where to use very often

Hello Hinadaay,

If you look up 'very' in the dictionary, from the definition and examples you can get a sense for what 'very often' means compared to 'often'.

Best regards,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi...
Do we use "very often " or " So often"
e.g i very often miss the bus.
Is there any rule like this..... I mean do we use very and so before often ? If we use what is the rule
Thnxxxxxx

Hello Hinadaay,

Both 'so' and 'very' can be used to modify 'often' and other adjectives or adverbs. They both mean more or less the same thing - to a high degree - but 'very' tends to be used when new information is given, whereas 'so' is sued to refer to information that is not new or which is obvious.

If you say 'I very often miss the bus', you're reporting it to someone for the first time, whereas saying 'I so often miss the bus' indicates the listener already knows this - it could be what you say to your teacher when you arrive late for class for the third or fourth time.

Best regards,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi! I've got a question. I just came across this sentence "I jogged 3 laps around the track." The word "jog" here is an intransitive verb, so I thought "lap" might be used as an adverb of frequency like "times." I looked up "lap" in a dictionary but only found out it can't be used as an adverb. I'm so confused. Please help!

Hi! I've got a question. I just came across this sentence "I jogged 3 laps around the track." The word "jog" here is an intransitive verb, so I thought "lap" might be used as an adverb of frequency like "times." I looked up "lap" in a dictionary but only found out it can't be used as an adverb. I'm so confused. Please help!

Hi greyish,

Some verbs can be both transitive and intransitive, and 'jog' is one of these. Both 'I jogged' (intransitive) and 'I jogged three miles' (transitive) are correct.

Many verbs of movement work this way, including 'run', 'walk' and 'move'.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello everyone....
what is the meaning of this sentence.please explain me.
we seem to eat out a lot these days.

thanks sir you have explained really well.I got that.

Pages