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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

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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

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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

My English improved a lots in this site thank you so much

I seem to visit British Council a lot these days.

Hello, 
I have a question, would it be (less) incorrect if we say:
"Usually, he is very punctual."?

Hello, Alex free!

As with your other question about word order, it's not a question of more or less correct, but about how important you think the word is. Putting Usually first makes it more important.
Again, our adverb order page has more details.

Regards
 
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

i am really great full to this site its helping me a lot

i`m so happy to find out this site because its another way to improve my English. i`m still learning and im sure that i`ll be able to speak English very well. hugs

its all the same that is what i think

Hello,
Is there any difference between 'often' and 'frequently'?   between 'seldom' and 'rarely'?
Thanks,
Asel

often, frequently, commonly, repeatedly, oftentimes. All basically have the same meaning.                      
'seldom' and 'rarely', occasionally, infrequently, sporadically. All basically have the same meaning
 

I like this site, so help us. I am thankful and I am glad that I found such useful site.
LEARN ENGLISH TEAM
Medet from Kazakhstan.

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