Position Of Frequency Adverbs

Adverbs of frequency tell us how often something happens. Examples are: often, never, always, sometimes, generally, usually, seldom, rarely, ever, hardly ever, frequently etc.

Adverbs of frequency are usually placed:

a) before the principal verb
b) After the verb be (is, am, are, was and were)
c) Between the auxiliary verb and the principal verb
d) Before used to and have to

Before the principal verb

Structure: subject + adverb + verb + object etc.

  • I often read comics.
  • never buy thrillers.
  • sometimes read foreign periodicals.
  • They frequently visit us.
  • We seldom read science fiction.
  • We hardly ever read books in foreign languages.
  • They always buy detective stories.

After the verb be

Structure: subject + be + adverb + complement etc.

  • She is always late in going to college.
  • am seldom late for work.
  • He is always worried about his finances.
  • We are never invited to parties.
  • am sometimes asked to speak at public meetings.

Between the auxiliary verb and the principal verb

Structure: subject + auxiliary verb + adverb + verb + object etc.

  • have often thought of writing a novel.
  • will never forget those unfortunate events.
  • He could hardly ever forget that experience.
  • He has always managed to hoodwink others.
  • He has rarely admitted his mistakes.
  • She has always done justice to all.
  • We should never take such big risks.

Before used to and have to

Used to and have to are always placed after the adverbs.

  • We sometimes used to visit them.
  • He occasionally used to write to me.
  • The fire force always has to be ready for emergencies.

Note: When the auxiliaries are to be stressed, they are sometimes put after the adverbs.

  • often am worried about my health.
  • We never should waste such an opportunity.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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