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.
- Adverb of time
- 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.
- She rarely drinks milk.
- She goes to the library regularly.
Types of Adverb of Frequency
There are two types of Adverb of Frequency. They are:
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.
- I exercise daily.
- 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
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.
- She visits her grandparents often.
- Sometimes I am late to work.
- 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
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.
Adverbs of time come after the verb and the object. The sentence order
Ranveer went to the amusement park yesterday.
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.
- I went to learn tailoring for three hours every evening last year.
- I went to learn tailoring every evening for three hours last year.
- Last year, I went to learn tailoring every evening for three hours.
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.
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.
- I update my laptop from time to time.
- I have told you time and again – to keep your study table clean.
- Once in a while it is not harmful to have a chocolate.
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.
- Yesterday, Ranveer went to the amusement park.
- For 14 years I have studied in this school, and not once I have fought with anybody.