ESL Adverbs of Frequency: Activities & Exercises

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Adverbs of frequency can be particularly challenging for ESL learners because of the adverb's ability to drastically change the meaning of a sentence. This lesson provides teachers with engaging and interesting activities designed to teach adverbs of frequency.

Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of frequency are essential to any ESL student's vocabulary. These adverbs tell the listener or reader how often the speaker or writer performs an action. Before you use the following activities, you may want to review with your class this list of the most common adverbs of frequency, the approximate frequency they indicate, and a sample sentence for each.

  • Always (100%) - I always brush my teeth before bed.
  • Usually (90%) - We usually take a walk after dinner.
  • Normally/generally (80%) - My soccer games are normally played Saturday afternoons.
  • Often/frequently (70%) - My sister often goes out with her friends.
  • Sometimes (50-60%) - I sometimes ride my bike to school instead of taking the bus.
  • Occasionally (30-40%) - My friend occasionally helps me with my homework.
  • Seldom (10-20%) - It seldom snows in my city.
  • Hardly ever/rarely (5%) - My friends and I hardly ever play board games.
  • Never (0%) - I never eat broccoli.

As your students may notice, the adverb of frequency usually comes before the main verb. However, this is not the case with the 'to be' form of verbs. In that case, the adverb comes after the 'to be' verbs.

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