Position of frequency adverbs

December 31, 2010pdf

Frequency adverbs (e.g. often, always, never, sometimes, generally, seldom, rarely, ever, frequently etc.) usually go in the following positions:

  1. before the main verb
  2. after the verb be
  3. between the auxiliary verb and the main verb
  4. before used to and have to

Before the main verb

  • I often visit my parents.
  • He always buys comics.
  • They hardly ever visit us.
  • I seldom read foreign periodicals.

After the verb be

Subject + be + adverb + complement

  • He is always late for college.
  • I am often ready for work at 6 am.
  • He is never worried about his finances.
  • I am never asked to speak at public meetings.
  • They are rarely invited to parties.

Between the auxiliary verb and the principal verb

  • I have always thought of standing for election.
  • He has always done justice to all.
  • We shall never explore such opportunities.
  • He will hardly ever appreciate your kind gesture.
  • I have sometimes managed to hoodwink others.
  • It has rarely caught my attention.
  • They are never ready for compromise.

Notes

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

  • The fire brigade always has to be ready for emergencies.
  • We sometimes used to go for long drives.

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

  • I often am worried about my finances.
  • We never should take such risks.
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