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Adverbs of Frequency Exercises

Explanation, Charts and Fill in the Gap Exercises

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Adverbs of frequency are used to answer the question of how often someone does something. They are generally used in positive sentences, but some adverbs of frequency can also be used in negative sentences. Here is a list of common adverbs of frequency from most frequent to least frequent:

always
usually
normally
generally
often
sometimes
seldom
rarely
never

Adverbs of frequency are placed directly in front of the verb except for the verb 'to be'. If 'to be' is the main verb, place the adverb of frequency directly after the verb 'to be'.

Doug often watches movies on his computer.
Andrea and Janice sometimes cook eggs and bacon for breakfast.
I rarely smoke cigarettes.

BUT with the verb 'to be':

Tom is sometimes late for work.
My daughters are often happy.
Henry is seldom wrong.

The table below provides examples in the present simple of adverbs of frequency with an approximate percentage of time that something is done. These are relative percentages, but should give you an idea of which adverbs of frequency are most appropriate. The adverbs of frequency usually, normally, and generally are synonymous.

Active Voice Adverbs of Frequency

% of Time Subject Adverb of Frequency Main Verb Objects
100% Sharon always studies in the morning.
85 - 99% My friends usually eat cereal for breakfast.
85 - 99% Sally normally plays tennis on Saturdays.
85 - 99% Jason generally enjoys listening to music.
70 - 85% Alice often hikes on weekends.
40 - 75% They sometimes take the subway to work.
10 - 40% Doug seldom works late.
1 - 10% We rarely eat fish.
0% Susan never smokes cigarettes.

Passive Voice Adverbs of Frequency

The passive voice is formed with the verb 'to be' plus the past participle. Remember that adverbs of frequency are placed immediately after the verb 'to be'. Here is a chart showing adverbs of frequency as they are used in the passive voice.

% of Time Passive Subject To be Adverb of Frequency Past Participle Objects / Agent
100% My computer is always turned on in the morning.
85 - 99% My friends are usually invited to parties on the weekends.
85 - 99% Christine is normally taught French by her teacher Jacqueline.
85 - 99% The rain is generally finished by three in the afternoon.
70 - 85% Andy is often considered for promotion at work.
40 - 75% They are sometimes taken to work by their colleagues.
10 - 40% Sebastian is seldom seen in the cafeteria.
1 - 10% We are rarely offended by their comments.
0% Lulu is never beaten by Cindy in golf.

Worksheet 1 - Active Voice

Choose one appropriate adverb of frequency for each gap based on the frequency indicated by the percentage.

% of Time Subject Adverb of Frequency Main Verb Objects
85 - 99% Alison _____ drives to work.
1 - 10% We _____ go skiing.
10 - 40% Peter and Sharon _____ go out to eat in restaurants.
85 - 99% Tom _____ has a sandwich for lunch.
0% They _____ play golf.
70 - 85% My friend _____ spends time with his daughter.
100% David _____ goes to bed before midnight.
40 - 75% They _____ watch TV after dinner.
85 - 99% Hank _____ travels by train.

Worksheet 2 - Passive Voice

Choose one appropriate adverb of frequency for each gap based on the frequency indicated by the percentage.

% of Time Passive Subject To be Adverb of Frequency Past Participle Objects / Agent
70 - 85% Jack is _____ chosen for the starting team.
85 - 99% The weather is _____ influenced by the tropical jet stream.
0% Chris is _____ treated poorly by his boss.
100% Coffee is _____ made by Anna.
40 - 75% They are _____ allowed to stay out late.
10 - 40% Hugo is _____ given a second chance.
85 - 99% Linda is _____ driven by her chauffeur.
1 - 10% The students are _____ tested on their pronunciation skills.
85 - 99% My friends are _____ recognized by each other.

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