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Adverbs of Frequency

With the present simple, we often use adverbs of frequency to say 'how often'
we do something. Here's a list of common adverbs:




hardly ever











We usually put these adverbs in the middle of the sentence, between the subject
and the verb:

I often go to the cinema.

She sometimes visits me at home.

We usually drink coffee.

We can also put them at the very beginning or end of the sentence. This makes
them stronger:

Often I go to the cinema.

I go to the cinema often.

But never: I go often to the cinema.

Here are some other expressions we can use to say 'how often'. All of these
longer phrases go at the beginning or the end of the sentence but not in the

once in a while: I go to the cinema once in a while.

every now and again: She drinks wine every now and again.

from time to time: From time to time I visit my mother.

To say how often something happens, you can use a number or 'several' or
'many', followed by 'times'.( If the number is one, use 'once' instead of 'one
time'. If the number is two use 'twice,' instead of 'two times') Then add 'a' and a
period of time:

I go to the cinema twice a week.

She takes these tablets three times a day.

I change the sheets once a fortnight (fortnight = two weeks).

I meet him several times a year.

I visit my parents once a month.

We can also use 'every' + period of time:

every morning

every day

every Tuesday

every week

every month

A day of the week with 's' at the end (for example 'on Tuesdays') means the same
as 'every Tuesday':

I take a dance class on Wednesdays.

I relax on Saturdays.

'Make' or 'Do'?
It can be hard to decide when to use 'make' or 'do' in English. Here's some help.
1: We use 'make' when we create or construct something. For example:

She made a cake.

I've made us some coffee.

Did you really make those trousers?

2: We use 'do' for general activities. In this case, 'do' is often used with
'something', 'nothing', 'anything' or 'everything':

What did you do at the weekend?

I didn't do anything yesterday.

She's fed up with doing everything herself. She needs some help.

Are you doing anything interesting during the holidays?

'Used To'
'Used to + infinitive':
We use this expression to talk about habits or repeated actions in the past which
we don't do in the present. We also use it to talk about states in the past which
are no longer true. For example:

I used to have long hair (but now I have short hair).

He used to smoke (but now he doesn't smoke).

They used to live in India (but now they live in Germany).

Watch out! With the negative and the question it's 'use' and not 'used':

Did you use to be a teacher?

Did he use to study French?

She didn't use to like chocolate, but she does now.

I didn't use to want to have a nice house.

Note! With this 'used to' there is no verb 'be'.

'Would + infinitive'
We can also use 'would + infinitive' to talk about a habit or repeated action in
the past. We usually use 'would + infinitive' in this way when we're telling a
story about the past. So, we can say:

When I was a student, we would often have a drink after class on a


When I lived in Italy, we would go to a little restaurant near our house.

However, we don't use 'would + infinitive' to talk about states in the past.
'Be used to':
We use 'be used to + verb-ing' to talk about things which feel normal for us or
things that we are accustomed to:

I'm used to getting up early, so I don't mind doing it (= getting up early is

normal for me, it's what I usually do).

My little daughter is used to eating lunch at noon. So she was grumpy

yesterday when we didn't eat until one.

Note that we make the negative or the question with the verb 'be' in the normal
way. The 'used to' doesn't change:

Lucy isn't used to staying up late, so she's very tired today.

Are your children used to walking a lot?

We can also use 'be used to + noun', which has the same meaning:

I've lived in the UK almost all my life, so I'm used to rain (= rain is
normal for me).

That football team always lose, so they're used to disappointment!

We can put the verb 'be' into any tense. So we can talk about things in the past
or the future as well as the present using this expression:

It was difficult when I first started university, because I wasn't used to

the amount of work we had to do.

Soon I'll be used to driving in London and I won't be so frightened!

We can use 'get used to + verb-ing' to talk about the change of not normal to
normal. We can also use this in any tense:

Don't worry if your new job is hard at first. You'll get used to it.

It took me a while, but I got used to speaking another language every day.

It took me a few months to get used to living in Japan. At first everything

seemed very different, but then gradually it became normal for me.
How to Pronounce 'ed' at the end of a verb

It's difficult to know how to pronounce 'ed' in English, because it's pronounced
in three different ways. It depends on the letter before:
The three ways are:

1: 'id' (like in painted 'paint-id')

2: 'd' (like in 'played')

3: 't' (like in 'hoped')

The most important thing to remember is this:

If the verb has a 'd' or a 't' sound before 'ed' you need to pronounce
'id'. If it doesn't, don't pronounce an extra syllable.

Be careful! It's the sound, not the letter: 'decide' is pronounced 'decide-id' even
though it ends in 'e', because we don't say the 'e', so the last sound is 'd'.
For the other two sounds it doesn't matter so much. Just make sure you don't
say '-id'! For example, 'stopped' is pronounced 'stopt' and never 'stop-id'.
If the word before 'ed' ends in the sounds 'p', 'f', 's', 'ch', 'sh', 'k', then 'ed' is
pronounced 't':
For all other words, 'ed' is pronounced 'd'