Adverbs of frequency

Oliver and Alfie are at home when Daisy and Amy arrive. Sophie is in Hammerfest in northern Norway.


As you watch the video, look at the examples of adverbs of frequency. They are in red in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, adverbs of frequency correctly.


Oliver: No, no! I can never answer the yellow questions – they're about history or politics or something, I think. I'll have an orange question, please, Mr Anderson! They're about sports, right?
Alfie: They're not always about sports – they're sometimes about food and drink.
Oliver: Not a problem, Mr Anderson. Let's hear it.
Alfie: Hmmmm. Oh no! Oh this is so easy!! Pff. How often ...
Oliver: Hang on. Back in a second.
Alfie: Who was it?
Oliver: Oh, just Daisy and Amy. Daisy's lost her keys again. She loses them about twice a week! Honestly. I found them in the fridge once! Dizzy Daisy!
Alfie: Who's Amy? The one that moved here a few months ago?
Oliver: Yeah.
Alfie: What's she like?
Oliver: I don't know. Seventeen. Straight black hair. Um. Nice. Quite serious, I suppose. Um. Very intelligent – she probably usually wins at this game ... though playing with us, that wouldn't be difficult. What was the question?
Alfie: Aah, oh yes. How often is the ...
Daisy: Hi, guys! Amy, this is Alfie – he's Oliver's best friend. They always hang out together.
Oliver: Not always! Sometimes I'm alone, you know!
Daisy: OK! They almost always hang out together.
Oliver: That's better! Er, Alfie ... ! Say hello!
Alfie: Sorry, yes. Hi. Um. Have a seat, have a seat. We're playing ... um ... we're ... you know ... it's much more fun with four players, would you like to ...
Daisy: Saved by the bell, hey?  Hi, Mum. Oliver, hey, it's Mum. How's Norway? Have you seen them? Oliver!
Oliver: Amy, do you want to play for me? He always gets the green questions wrong. Ask him green questions. 
Daisy: Mum's seen the Northern Lights!
Oliver: Oh, wow! What are they like?
Sophie: Well, they're green mostly. Apparently, they're usually green – but they're ... oh, they're so difficult to describe – they're magical! Living where we live, you either never see them or you see them once in a lifetime, if you travel. Oh, we'll have to come to Hammerfest as a family one year. The problem is you normally see them best in September or March, like now, and you two are always studying at those times ...
Amy: Yeah, they're normally green because of the oxygen, but sometimes you can see red too – that's from nitrogen. Aurora Borealis. The Northern Lights. Aurora was a Greek goddess and ... sorry. Look at the sky out there! It's beautiful! It's really, really clear tonight.
Alfie: It is, isn't it? It's hardly ever that clear here – there's normally too much light pollution. And of course, it's often cloudy.
Amy: I love looking at the stars. Astronomy is fascinating, and the stars and constellations often have wonderful names, like Andromeda ... that's a constellation.
Alfie: You learn something new every day. When you're looking at the stars, can you recognise them?
Amy: Not always. But quite often, yes.
Alfie: Right! Coats on! Astronomy class in the garden in three minutes! After you, Miss Hao. Daisy and Oliver are observing, bemused ...
Amy: Thank you, Alfred.
Alfie: Um, nobody ever calls me Alfred. I don't like it very much ...
Amy: No? Alfred was a king. It's a king's name. It suits you. Oh yes! Millions of stars ...

We use adverbs of frequency – like sometimes or usually – to say how often we do things, or how often things happen.

I never have any problems with adverbs of frequency.

OK, let's see what you know. We use adverbs of frequency in this order, according to their meaning.

100%           0%
always usually/normally often sometimes occasionally hardly ever never

Are there any missing?

I think that’s most of them. You could include frequently, with usually. We use not very often too.

Very good, you’re right. These are the most common adverbs, although there are more.

They always hang out together.
The Northern Lights are usually green.
You normally see them best in September or March.
It’s often cloudy.

What do you notice about the position of the adverbs?

They are usually before the main verb, or between the auxiliary and the main verb. But they come after the verb to be.

Excellent! Can they also be at the beginning or the end of the sentence?

Yes, I think so. 'Sometimes I'm alone.' That sounds OK.

Yes, we can use some adverbs of frequency at the beginning or end of a sentence for emphasis.

Occasionally I meet her for a coffee.

We can use usually, often, sometimes and occasionally at the beginning of a sentence, and sometimes and often at the end. We use adverb expressions like a lot or not + (very) much after the main verb too.

She travels a lot.
He doesn’t study very much.

Be careful with never. It is already negative, so we can’t use it with not.

I never go to the supermarket with my mother.

I’ve just remembered some more expressions! What about once a week, twice a year, etc.?

Oh yes, I’d forgotten about those.

Take the medicine three times a day.
We usually go swimming twice a month.
You see them once in a lifetime, if you travel.

You see, I’m not always annoying.

OK, sorry. I’m not always right either. Usually, but not always!



What are your hobbies? How often do you do them?

Average: 3.7 (32 votes)
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Submitted by Sara Rufino on Fri, 06/28/2024 - 08:36

Sometimes I play videogames, like Super Mario Bros. or Wii Sports, I hang out with friends two or three times a week and I normally listen to music, in english or spanish.

Submitted by juanfdez02 on Sun, 06/16/2024 - 04:32

i love listening music, my favourite artist is lana del rey and i listen music every day, specifically 4 hours a day

Submitted by Mohamed Saufwan on Wed, 12/27/2023 - 09:17

Hello! I am Saufwan from Myanmar. My hobbies is playing football. I play football every day with my friends.

Submitted by Sei10824 on Thu, 01/25/2024 - 06:45

My name is Sei10824.
I am from Japan.
My First hobby is hiking once a week and my second hobby is watching youtube every day.

In reply to by Mohamed Saufwan

Submitted by Tikhon Belov on Fri, 02/09/2024 - 08:26

hi, my name is tikhon. im from russia. my first hobby is swimming. i swim six times a week. my second hobby is english. i have lessons twice a week.

i never go hiking. i would like to go hiking once. i watch youtube every day too.

In reply to by Sei10824

Submitted by VN498762 on Tue, 11/28/2023 - 11:46

Hi,I'm Han-a Vietnamese person.Not like somebody who studies in high school,I enjoy studying,special English,French and Math (even though I don't really good at these subjects-((( ).I love reading comics and watching animes too !My favorite anime is BSD,text me if you know and like this anime-33Thank for reading my first comment in British Council Teen and please text again me if i have a wrong in grammar

Submitted by cavius on Sun, 12/17/2023 - 03:05

hello Han, im cavi from indonesia. i also like BSD, my favorite character in that anime is dazai osamu, hbu?

In reply to by VN498762

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Submitted by Allofusaredeadfan on Mon, 01/01/2024 - 21:21

Hi Han-a, im Zeinab, im Canadien, I also love learning English, I love BSD anime, I like Naomi tanizaki, Osamu dazai and well too, also the thing I prefer is Korean dramas because I love All of Us are dead and the glory but my favorite is All of Us are dead (I like Nam on-jo is my favorite) unfortunately I'm a little bad at English but hey I'm learning thanks!!

In reply to by VN498762

Submitted by ChocoholicGirl on Thu, 07/06/2023 - 17:37

Hello, I have a question. Why cant I write "I go swimming quite often". I know it sounds a bit weird, but "I quite often go swimming" sounds even more off. To me "I dont normally wear black in summer" also sounds weird:(. Could somebody please explain:) Thank you!

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Submitted by JoModerator on Fri, 07/07/2023 - 07:31

Hi ChocoholicGirl,

Both 'I quite often go swimming' and 'I go swimming quite often' are correct. 

We usually put the adverb of frequency before the main verb, but it's also really common to put it at the beginning (usually, often, sometimes and occasionally) or at the end (sometimes, often). It changes the emphasis or point of focus of the sentence slightly (emphasis on the frequency v focus on the activity).

'I don't normally wear black in summer' is correct. The rule is that the adverb of frequency comes between the auxilliary and the main verb. But you could also put 'normally' at the beginning or the end of the sentence and say 'Normally I don't wear black in summer' or 'I don't wear black in summer normally'. All of those are correct!

I hope that helps!

Best wishes,

Jo (LearnEnglish Teens team)

In reply to by ChocoholicGirl

Submitted by Brucenyi on Wed, 06/07/2023 - 13:35

My hobbies are playing mobile games and listen to music. I usually play mobile games like Mobile Legends and some battle games but not very often because it can harm my eyes. I occasionally read books on weekends.

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Submitted by Snr.H on Wed, 05/10/2023 - 11:06

My hobbies are freerunning and footbal

Submitted by Mark17 on Wed, 03/15/2023 - 23:07

My hobbies are playing football, watching TV, doing sports, playing computer games and often running outside for few times.

Submitted by shaimaa on Wed, 03/08/2023 - 11:07

My hobbies are walking, runing and reading. I always walk every day one hour on the morning.
I occasionally runing once a week.
I'm usually reading books on the evening.

Submitted by Hiro_3 on Tue, 01/17/2023 - 21:30

Hi! My name is Hiro. My hobbys are read mangas, watch movies, and I sometimes draw in my free time.

Submitted by Teen@english on Sun, 12/11/2022 - 09:34

Hey!My hobbies are learning English like new tricky words ,vocabulary and grammar.I always engage online with British council.I usually read contents like stories,grammar and learning contents in Enlish.Occasionally I listen to the songs in English.Often I watch videos on British council.I sometimes read short stories in english once a week.I hardly ever watch videoes for other contents.I never dislike contents of British council.


Submitted by Remix on Sat, 08/13/2022 - 08:21

Hello! My hobbies are do volunteer work, read a book and ride a bike. I usually do volunteer work. And I often read a book. I ride a book once a month.

Submitted by cherry00 on Sat, 07/23/2022 - 10:03

My hobbies are dancing Flamenco, painting and learning German. I dance Flamenco once a month, I paint once a week and I learn German four times a week.

Submitted by Baldbanana on Thu, 07/07/2022 - 13:44

My hobbies are playing the guitar and also learning English.

Submitted by rebbit2009 on Tue, 06/28/2022 - 10:38

My hobby is dolls, I makw videos and photos with them, also I make clothes and other things(like phone, books, notebooks and etc). I usually do it, because I really love it! Also sometimes I draw, but.... not very often =(

Submitted by danielpro on Tue, 03/01/2022 - 21:54

i play videogame everday at night whit my cousin. i usually visit my granma i never listen to electronic music. i often read a book i ocasionally cook my dinner

Submitted by janjack on Sun, 02/06/2022 - 14:54

Hello, I’m Janna, and my hobbies are volleyball and art history. I try Sport three times a week and my art lessons are once a week. I also draw sometimes and offen read books.

Submitted by Mangorian on Fri, 01/14/2022 - 17:55

My Hobby is to Walk in nature and I usually go for a walk in nature. The Place where I live contains many mountains near me and they are around 1 KM from my house. At 5:00 PM I always take my way there to walk and these mountains contains many trees and has Greenary a lot, Whenever I come here my whole day tiredness, stress and anxiety gets off and after coming back to home I feel fresh and energetic and then I gets to my study with a happy mood and full concentration.
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Submitted by sweetgirl2021 on Tue, 12/14/2021 - 01:00

I run twice a week and I play videogame every weekend
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Submitted by sweetgirl2021 on Tue, 12/14/2021 - 00:58

My hobbies are to run and to play videogames, how about you, guys?

Submitted by LOVE25 on Mon, 11/08/2021 - 05:26

What are your hobbies? I like watch series on my cell phone. I like to listen to music and dance. I love go for a walk with my pets. How often do you do them? I usually watch series on weekends I listen to music every day. I go for a walk with my pets on Saturdays.

Submitted by Elefteria_1105 on Fri, 11/05/2021 - 19:25

My hobbies are writing, drawing, and video/photo editing. Given that, I don't have enough time I'm doing it hardly ever.
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Submitted by M4r1nell4 on Fri, 10/29/2021 - 08:13

Mh hobbies are cooking and read a book every day.

Submitted by Shark32_ on Thu, 10/28/2021 - 17:11

I always watch movies or TV series on Netflix and listen to music. I also cook for my parents every weekend and I often watch football matches or other sports on the TV.

Submitted by Sol04 on Thu, 10/28/2021 - 10:02

I love creating fantasy things and I often do this. I always sing and dance and I almost always Cook.
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Submitted by Diva69 on Thu, 10/28/2021 - 10:00

I do have some hobbies, I watch netflix series, I listen to music, I read some pages of my favourite book.

Submitted by ilrxia on Thu, 10/28/2021 - 10:00

My hobbies are reading and watching movies/tv series. I almost always read books. I watch movies and tv series every day, my favorite tv serie is “how to get away with murder”. I hardly ever watch nba matches
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Submitted by Mar on Tue, 10/26/2021 - 21:30

I watch horror movies every weekend with my brothers. I sometimes cook some desserts and I occasionally read books.
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Submitted by fanny on Thu, 08/12/2021 - 22:37

I ocassionally watch tv shows like Grey´s Anatomy or Lucifer with my sister. I hardly ever plant a vegetbles or fruits. I have a spa day once a week.

Submitted by Macumbo on Mon, 08/09/2021 - 08:06


Submitted by ArmandoParedesss on Tue, 10/04/2022 - 07:16


In reply to by Macumbo

Submitted by Mamou1 on Tue, 07/27/2021 - 09:37

What are your hobbies? How often do you do them? Actually I think my hobbies is waching TV because I usually do it but luckily I pass just 2hour on it. going to the cinema is what I rreally like and I often go to the cinema twice in a month actualy. but I'm not denying that I love sport if I'm not studying or wathing movies or doing some search online, I do sport, by the way swimming and running are my passion. I often swim once a week precisely. and finally what i adore the must is travelling I suppose it not a hobbie but I'm mentionning it. traveling is evrything I don't always do it because I can not travel alone but when I have the chance i won't hesitate.

Submitted by sunblumel on Fri, 07/16/2021 - 16:27

Hi there! I like reading books (I read them quite often), write my own drama fanfictions and poetry. I also facinating about psychology and cards tarot. Sometimes I try to practice on tarot readings.

Submitted by hermione123 on Mon, 07/19/2021 - 09:21

Psychology caught my attention. By learning how our brain and feeling works we can actually read someone's mine. One of my mom's closest friends is a Psychologist. She can know how someone feels by looking at his or her behaviours. It's so cool! Once i tried to learn it by myself using a book. i give up. It's kinda difficult. But i love to watch videos about body language (which i think have similarities and something to do with psychology)

In reply to by sunblumel

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Submitted by FlowerQueen on Thu, 07/08/2021 - 13:30

My hobbies are reading, I read every day a book. Inline skating, I usually skate every week, but only when the wheater is good. meeting my friends, I meet my BFF every day in school and sometimes at home, I meet the other friends almost at the weekends. drawing, I draw really often. writing stories, I write sometimes every week, that I create.

Submitted by liz15 on Tue, 06/08/2021 - 20:33

HI, On my free time I like to read books, I like to wash movies and series on netflix, I like to sleep very much, I usually go to the park and running, before I jumped the rope every day in the evening, but now only sometimes I jump the rope, I occasionaly go to the cinema, I study English every day, I often enjoy eating fast food, I never go to the gym.

Submitted by marthahin on Thu, 06/03/2021 - 14:18

hello my name is Martha do you have 17 years old and I always do my homework

Submitted by Arivelde on Tue, 03/09/2021 - 16:37

My favorit hobby is doing snowboard, but i can only do it every two years. So in the meantime i play my gitar, and do some sports (othes hobbies of mine).
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Submitted by TuongVi on Sat, 03/06/2021 - 09:25


Submitted by Ricky26 on Fri, 02/05/2021 - 08:06

Hi,my name is hobbies are cooking,reading,running,swimming,watch movies.i watch movie and cook once a week,i go to swimming 6 times a week in summers,i go to running three times a week,i usually read before sleep.

Submitted by hermione123 on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 00:28

Hi! my hobby is reading. my favorite books are Harry Potter novels, and Front Desk. And, I also love drawing.

Submitted by mishi on Wed, 12/30/2020 - 12:47

i have alot of hobbies but my favourite one is playing badminton and i practice it 5 days a week for half an hour.
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Submitted by toiyeuvietnam on Tue, 11/24/2020 - 14:03

My hobbies are reading book and listening to music. I often read book in my free time and i often read about history, biology, and geography. And i often listen to music when i'm studying.
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