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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


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?


Hello archijais,

The meaning is 'I have the feeling (= we seem) to be going to restaurants (= to eat out) a lot at the moment (= these days).

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

i want to whether this sentence is correct or no if it is correct why and if it is not why??i mean the use of the of the adverb of frequency and the verb to be!
this is the sentence (our journey usually is pleasurable) please give me the answer as soon as possible??

Hi Karzan_Camus,

This sentence is not correct - I explained the reason in my answer to your earlier question on the same topic. Please be patient when waiting for replies as we are a small team here at LearnEnglish and we receive many questions and requests every day, which means sometimes it takes us a little time to respond to all of them.

The correct form of the sentence would be 'Our journey is usually pleasurable'.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello :-)

I have one question: I read the sentence "We usually have samples tested" in a (grammar)book. Why is it correct and not the version "We usually have tested samples" or "We have usually tested samples"? Is there a rule?

Thank you very much in advance.

Hello Christine,

In "we usually have samples tested", have is used in a causative form (have + object + past participle) in the present simple - it's not the present perfect.  It means something like "usually we sent our samples to a lab, where the samples are tested".

I hope this helps you!

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

I am feeling very disapointed! Every time that I put the words in order, no matter what, I get an "x" under the number. Could you help me please?

Hello Apollobeach25,

I have tested the activity here on two computers with different operating systems and I can't see any problem - the exercise appears to be working exactly as it should.  I saw you had a similar problem on another page and there too I could not replicate your problem.  Please double-check that the words are indeed in the correct order - you should see green ticks beside every word when you click 'Check answers', as well as a green tick beside the question number at the bottom.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Can we use 'seldom' and 'much' in one sentence... like... 'I seldom speak my mind out much' ? Please help

Hello Missie,

We can certainly use these two words in one sentence, but your sentence needs a little correction:

I seldom speak my mind much.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you. That's really helpful.