We all are familiar with what adverbs do. They are among the eight parts of speech that modify and change the action word in a sentence with added information. They make the sentence look complete, meaningful and make it possible to convey a clear message.
Well, adverbs can be divided into several parts. Each part describes a verb in different ways with different intentions. One of which is called the adverbs of frequency, the topic we are covering in this post. They are basically the adverbs that help us indicate the frequency of a particular action in a sentence.
But that information is not enough to understand the concept. Refer to the explanations and examples below to get a precise idea.
What are adverbs of frequency?
As mentioned earlier, adverbs qualify the meaning of a sentence by modifying the verb. When these adverbs modify the verb by describing how frequently or how often something occurs, they are said to be adverbs of frequency.
Adverbs of frequency are similar to what we call adverbs of time, or they can be named a unit of adverb of time. This means their principal job is to describe the frequency of a particular action and indicate how often or how many times something happens.
Let us look at some examples to understand better.
- I rarely sing nowadays.
- I used to eat every hour.
- She usually studies a lot.
- We have to pay our taxes yearly.
- They practice weekly on the campus.
We see the bolded words describe how often something happens. Hence, they are named adverbs of frequency.
Considering the above examples, we need to notice that some words like weekly and yearly clearly describe the exact frequency. They indicate a specific time frame. While the other words, such as rarely and usually describe an unspecified time period. Such differences can be understood under the two main divisions of adverbs of frequency.
Adverbs of definite frequency: These are words like weekly, yearly, hourly, monthly, every second, every hour, once, twice, thrice, etc. They indicate the exact time frame or exactly how often something occurs.
I pay my rent yearly.
Adverbs of indefinite frequency: These are adverbs like usually, often, rarely, constantly, always, never, hardly ever, occasionally, seldom, etc. They do not give us an exact account of the occurrence of the action.
I often see him swimming.
So, one group of words have a specific time frame, while the other doesn’t.
Usage of adverbs of frequency
Now that we know the definition of adverbs of frequency, let us understand how to apply them in a sentence.
Very commonly, adverbs like occasionally, sometimes, usually are placed at the beginning and sometimes at the end of a sentence.
But when there is only a main verb, adverbs of frequency are placed right at the middle of a sentence. This is to make them appear right after the subject but before the action word.
My bird never sings along.
And if there is more than one verb, always place the adverb of place before the main verb.
We have rarely seen such a view.
These are the basic rules we need to follow while using adverbs of frequency.
As we see, adverbs of frequency are common words we use regularly. Once you grasp the concept, it will become easy to understand.