Adverbs of Time and Frequency - Orchids The International School
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Adverbs of Time and Frequency


An adverb qualifies an adjective, a verb, other adverb or a complete sentence. Adverbs mainly talks about manner, place, time, and frequency.
In this concept, we will learn about two main types of adverbs.

  1. Adverb of time
  2. Adverb of frequency

Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time indicates when or for how long an action takes place or will take place.

  • It is used to indicate a point in time.
  • Denotes the past: For instance words like the day before, yesterday, ago, last month/week/year shows the past.
  • Shows the present: For instance words like yet, still, while, when shows the present.
  • Speaks about future: For instance words like soon, next, then, week/year/month, tomorrow, in 5 days, the day after tomorrow indicate the future.
  • They express a period of time. For instance words like for, since, two days, one year, three weeks, four months, etc. indicate the length of a time period.



Adverb of Frequency

Adverbs that tell us how often or how frequent an action takes place.


  1. She rarely drinks milk.
  2. She goes to the library regularly.

Types of Adverb of Frequency

There are two types of Adverb of Frequency. They are:

  1. Definite Frequency- Adverbs of definite frequency specifies how often the action takes place. These adverbs usually occur at the end or at the beginning of a sentence.


    1. I exercise daily.
    2. Every day, she feed the street dogs.
    List of Words that show Definite Frequency
    hourly thrice
    daily twice
    weekly once
    monthly twice a year
    yearly/annually once a minute
    every hour everyday
    every second every minute
    quarterly half yearly
  2. Indefinite Frequency – This type of adverb does not specify or a give a clear idea of the frequency of the activity. Their position depends on the type of verbs used in the sentence. Sometimes in the beginning or middle or end you will find them.


    1. She visits her grandparents often.
    2. Sometimes I am late to work.
    3. I have never seen them before.
    List of Words that show Indefinite Frequency
    always never
    generally normally
    occasionally sometimes
    usually hardly ever
    rarely never
    soon then

Common Mistakes

  1. When a helping verb (e.g. will, have, shall, should, would, could, can, might, may, must) is followed by the main verb, then the adverb of frequency must be placed between the auxiliary and the main verb.


    She must always do the homework on time.

  2. Adverbs of time come after the verb and the object. The sentence order is : Boy


    Ranveer went to the amusement park yesterday.

  3. In a sentence if an aspect of adverb of time (duration, frequency, and when) is omitted or the position is changed, then the other two maintain their position with respect to each other.


    1. I went to learn tailoring for three hours every evening last year.
    2. I went to learn tailoring every evening for three hours last year.
    3. Last year, I went to learn tailoring every evening for three hours.


  1. When you use an adverb with the verb ‘to be’, be careful with the word order as the adverb of frequency is written after it and not before.
  2. There are certain English idioms that are also used as adverbs of frequency. For instance idioms like every now and then, now and again or now and then, once in a while, time and again, from time to time.


    1. I update my laptop from time to time.
    2. I have told you time and again – to keep your study table clean.
    3. Once in a while it is not harmful to have a chocolate.
  3. Adverb of time can also appear in the beginning of a sentence. The position depends on the purpose. If the adverb of time is mentioned at the start, then it is done to put extra emphasis on the time. If placed at the beginning of the sentence, a comma is used although it is not always essential.


    1. Yesterday, Ranveer went to the amusement park.
    2. For 14 years I have studied in this school, and not once I have fought with anybody.
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