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How often?
Using Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often and Always

Step 1:

Learn Key Sentences

a) I never drink coffee. I don't even like the smell of it!

b) He rarely finishes work before 6:30.

c) We sometimes go to the cinema, but not very often.

d) She often visits us on the weekend.

e) They always ask us before they borrow one of our books.

f) I will never leave you, so you will always have a friend!

Step 2:

Learn How
to Use

We usually use these "adverbs of frequency" with a present tense verb. Sometimes, as in example (f) above, we use these adverbs to talk about the future, especially always and never. a) Use never when something is done 0% of the time.

b) Rarely means not very often, so it could be between 1% and 20% of the time.

c) Sometimes might mean 20% of the time, or 80% of the time - it is not so clear!

d) Often means many times, so it could be around 50% or more of the time.

e) Always should be 100% of the time, but sometimes we use it to mean "too much" when we are a little bit angry - "You're always asking me for money. Stop it!"

Step 3:

Learn Sample Conversations

Conversation using adverbs of frequency

A: Do you often come to this restaurant?

B: Two years ago, I would always come here on Sundays, but now I'm too busy. I rarely eat here more than once a month. Are there any restaurants you like to go to?

A: I sometimes have lunch at a restaurant at my office but I never eat there on weekends.

If you want to know more about this topic, go to this searchable English grammar web site.

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