What is the difference between: Always, Usually, Never, Often, Sometimes and Rarely

How to Teach Adverbs of Frequency in English

Usage Practices: ‘Always’, ‘Usually’, ‘Never’, ‘Often’, ‘Sometimes’, and ‘Rarely’

As you embark on your journey to understand English and its intricacies more effectively, it’s critical to have a firm grasp of adverbs of frequency, such as ‘always,’ ‘usually,’ ‘never,’ ‘often,’ ‘sometimes,’ and ‘rarely.’ The test at the end of the article, which consists of 20 questions, is devoted to these adverbs, learn more about the theory that will help with practice.

Understanding the usage of adverbs of frequency such as ‘always,’ ‘usually,’ ‘never,’ ‘often,’ ‘sometimes,’ and ‘rarely’ is key to demonstrating proficiency in English tests. Let’s consider the grammatical rules for using adverbs of frequency.

Always

  1. Always (100% of the time): This indicates that something occurs at all times or is unchanging. It is positioned before the main verb but after “be” verb.

Example:

  • I always eat breakfast in the morning.
  • She is always late.

Usually

  1. Usually (around 80-90% of the time): This suggests that something happens most of the time. Its position in a sentence is similar to ‘always’.

Example:

  • She usually goes to the gym in the morning.
  • The traffic is usually heavy in the evening.

Often

  1. Often (around 50-70% of the time): This indicates that an event or action occurs many times or frequently. Its position is similar to ‘always.’

Example:

  • We often visit our grandparents on weekends.
  • He is often busy with work.

Sometimes

  1. Sometimes (around 30-50% of the time): Indicates that an event or action happens at times, not always. It can be positioned at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence.

Example:

  • Sometimes I walk to work.
  • I sometimes play tennis.
  • I play tennis sometimes.

Rarely

  1. Rarely (around 10-20% of the time): Suggests that something seldom happens. Its position is similar to ‘always.’

Example:

  • He rarely eats vegetables.
  • They are rarely on time for the meeting.

Never

  1. Never (0% of the time): Indicates something does not happen at any time or the event or action is non-existent. Its position in a sentence is similar to ‘always.’

Example:

  • She never smokes.
  • He is never on time for his appointments.

Note

  • Remember, adverbs of frequency go before the main verb, except with the verb “to be”, where they come after. For example, “I often play soccer” but “I am always on time.”
  • For questions, these adverbs keep their position: “Do you always eat breakfast?” not “Always do you eat breakfast?”.
  • In negative sentences, the adverb of frequency comes before the main verb: “I don’t usually work Saturdays.”
  • It is also necessary to understand that these adverbs can shift their position in the sentence without altering the meaning. ‘Sometimes,’ for instance, can begin, be in the middle of, or end a sentence. For instance, “Sometimes he plays soccer,” “He sometimes plays soccer,” and “He plays soccer sometimes,” all hold the same meaning.
  • To converse in or write English proficiently, understanding, and practicing the usage of these adverbs of frequency is essential.

Test your knowledge for understanding: Always, Usually, Never, Often, Sometimes, and Rarely

The 20-question quiz is designed to test and expand your understanding of these adverbs of frequency. Each question should be approached as an opportunity to apply what you have learned, analyze the statements and strengthen your command of these adverbs (multiple answer options are possible).

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How to Teach Adverbs of Frequency in English

Practice. How to Teach Adverbs of Frequency in English

John______ exercises in the morning

Mary __________ eats chocolate because she's on a diet.

Jane eats junk food. She ______ has fast food.

We __________ have pizza for dinner.

They __________ take a vacation in the winter

My brother _______ helps me with homework.

When does John study vocabulary?

She __________ arrives late for work.

They __________ go for a run in the morning.

When does it snow in Calgary?

She _______ takes the bus to work.

How often does your dog bark at night?

How often does it rain in Seattle?

How often do you brush your teeth?

I __________ go to the library to study

How often does Sue play tennis?

When does Kate usually eat fast food?

We _______ go on vacation in the summer.

__________ do you visit the dentist for a check-up?

I ______________ go shopping on Sundays.

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