Adverbs of frequency Learn English Grammar

We use adverbs of frequency when we talk about how often we do something. We usually use it with the present and past simple tenses and the future tenses.

These are the most common adverbs.

Adverbs of frequency

always 100 % He always eats breakfast
usually 90 % I usually eat lunch in the office.




She often goes to bed late.


regularly 70% We regularly walk on the beach.


40-50%   I sometimes go to the library.



hardly ever


I seldom go to the theatre.

never 0% Vegetarians never eat meat.


The adverb usually goes after the subject at the beginning of the sentence. Here are some adverb of frequency examples.


I always clean my teeth in the morning and before going to bed at night.

We usually go to the cinema on Fridays but this week we’re going to a birthday party.

My neighbours frequently play music in the evenings. It drives me mad because it is so loud!

They occasionally like to try out a new restaurant.

We hardly ever go to the theatre because it is too expensive.


There are also other ways of saying how often we do something. These expressions usually go at the beginning or the end of the sentence.


Every now and then we take a trip to the beach with the kids so they can play on the beach.

Every so often my boss brings in cakes for everyone in the office.

We like to visit our friends in London every once in a while.


We can also use ‘every’ and a specific time period, for example,

Every morning

Every day

Every week

Every Sunday

Every month

Every Christmas

Every year

Every ten years


We have family round for lunch every Sunday.

The Olympics is held every four years.

Halley’s comet passes the Earth every 75 years. The last time was in 1986.

Another way of saying how often,

Once a week

Twice a day

Three times a year

Several times a month


You should brush your teeth twice a day.

The head of the company only visits our office four times a year.

They eat out in restaurants five times a week because they don’t like cooking.


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Phrasal verbs with come Learn English

This post looks at phrasal verbs with come. Phrasal verbs can be confusing for many learners. They often have more than one meaning and several phrasal verbs can all have the same meaning. For example, ‘come round’ has several different meanings. One of the meanings is the same as ‘come to’. Study each example and see if you can make your own examples.

Phrasal verbs with COME


Come across 

 to find

I came across a beautiful painting in the art shop. It’s by a local artist. I’d never heard of her before.

One of the good things about Facebook is that you sometimes come across people that you knew years ago. That can also be one of the bad things about Facebook ….


Come across as something 

 to appear in a particular way

I don’t want to come across as rude but I think you could be nicer to people.

My boss always comes across as angry but he is a kitten underneath. He is the kindest person I know.


Come along

go with someone or arrive at a place

Are you coming along with us to Pete’s party on Saturday night?

I might come along a bit later. I am driving back from Scotland that day.


Come along can also be used to tell someone to be hurry up if you are going somewhere

Come along! We’ll miss the bus if we don’t hurry.


Come apart

To break into pieces.

This new toy is coming apart. Look, it’s really dangerous.

When he picked up the broken old radio, it came apart in his hands.


Come around to something

To change one’s mind.

My husband wants to get a cat. I wasn’t sure but I’m starting to come around to the idea of having a pet.


Come off

To become separated from something.

Oh no! The door handle came off in my hand. I can’t open the door.

The paint is starting to come off the wall. We will need to repaint in here.


Come out

Leave a place, go out to socialise or show yourself from a hiding place.

I hope the sun comes out tomorrow. I want to go to the beach. I’m so tired of these cloudy, rainy days!

Come out! I know your hiding. The games over.

Do you want to come out with us tomorrow night? We thought we might go to that new Italian restaurant in the high street.


Come round

  1. Visit someone at their home.

Would you like to come round for dinner next week?

  1. Become conscious.

He came round after an hour.

  1. To change one’s mind.

I’m coming round to the idea of having a pet.

  1. An event that happens at a particular time, regularly.

I can’t believe Christmas has come around so quickly. It feels like it was only yesterday.


Come to

To become conscious.

He fainted when he saw the blood. When he came to, he felt really embarrassed.


Come up with

To think of an idea or plan.

Who came up with that idea? It’s terrible!

Pete has come up with a brilliant idea for an app.

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Business Phrasal Verbs: Learn English Vocabulary

few fewer less English determiners

This post looks at the differences between English determiners such as  few, fewer, fewest, little, less, least. It is a common problem for many English language learners and even native speakers can confuse them whilst speaking.


= not many

We use FEW and A FEW with countable nouns (nouns we can count, one car, two cars etc)


Comparative and superlative: few, fewer, fewest

Few has a slightly negative meaning – not many, not as much as we thought or wanted. It is also more formal than ‘not many’

‘The journey didn’t take long today. There were few cars on the road.’

Compare with, ‘There weren’t many cars on the road.’

‘He has few friends. He prefers to be on his own.’


= some

‘I am only inviting a few people to my party this year. Last year was crazy.’

‘We saw a few good films at the cinema last month.’

‘I want to have a few days off work next week. I need to visit my mother who is in hospital.’

We can also use ‘a few’ instead of a noun.

‘Would you like some of my chips? I can’t eat all of them.’  ‘Thanks, I’ll have a few.’


= not as many

‘Fewer people smoke today than twenty years ago.’

‘Shops are selling fewer newspapers these days because a lot of people read the news online.’


= the smallest number

‘Browntree University has the fewest applicants in the country.’


= a small amount

Little and a little are used with uncountable nouns, for example: water, information, air, time.

Comparative and superlative: little, less, least


Like ‘few’, little is used in a slightly negative way. There is not enough or not as much as expected.

‘The government said there was little information about the attack.’


‘Do you fancy a quick coffee?’ ‘I have a little time before my train. Yes, I’d love one, thanks.’


= not as much

‘Hurry up! We have less time than I thought. We need to be at the station in half an hour.’

‘In many companies, women still earn less than men.’

IMPORTANT: Many native speakers often use less with countable nouns when speaking. E.g. ‘There were less people there today’. However, in formal writing, it is important to try to use the correct form for countable and uncountable nouns.


= the lowest amount

‘Lincoln is the least expensive city for university students.’


This is not used as a determiner but is used as an adjective.

‘A lesser woman (one who is not as strong or brave) might have stopped by now.’

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Comparatives and Superlatives: Learn English Grammar

Stephen Hawking British Physicist

Stephen Hawking (1942 – 2018) was a British physicist*. He was born in Oxford, England on the 8th January 1942, 300 years after the death of Italian astronomer* and engineer* Galileo Galilei. Stephen grew up in the town of St. Albans about twenty miles outside London. He went to a local* school and afterwards to University College, Oxford. Both of Stephen’s parents had studied at Oxford University. He wanted to study Mathematics but that was not possible so he chose to study physics instead. He was an active young man who enjoyed* dancing and rowing.

After he finished his degree, Hawking went to Trinity Hall at Cambridge University to study cosmology*. Whilst he was at Oxford university, Hawking began to have some problems with his health. Sometimes he would fall over or have trouble with his speech. However, it was at Cambridge, where he went to study for a PhD, that his health problems became more obvious*.

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Past continuous Learn English

This post looks at the past continuous and asks;

What is the past continuous?

When is the past continuous used?

At the end are 5 advanced-level uses of the past continuous for more confident learners.

 The past continuous uses the past of the verb ‘be’ and the infinitive + ‘ing’

 Subject         was/were     infinitive + ‘ing’  

I                       was                 playing           tennis

You                 were                playing           tennis

He/she/it         was                 playing           tennis

We/they         were                playing           tennis

  Continue reading Past continuous Learn English

Infinitive With To Learn English Grammar

This post looks at using the English infinitive with to. It is used after certain adjectives and verbs.


  1. The first to do something.

He was the first to arrive at the party.

  1. The next to do something.

Sam was the next to arrive.

  1. The last to do something.

Tom and Mary were the last to arrive.


We can also put a noun before the infinitive if we are talking about sequencing (putting something into numerical order e.g. first, second, third etc)


Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon.

Will the last person to leave the room, please turn off the lights?

They were the second team to enter the competition.

  1. We use infinitive with to after want and would like.


I want to see that new French film that is on at the cinema.

Would you like to come with me?


I would like to book a table for four at seven o’clock, please.


Jack had to leave work early today because he had a doctor’s appointment.


  1. After some question words.


I don’t know where to go on holiday this year.

She wanted to know how to get to the station.

When he offered me the job, I didn’t know what to say.

The kids can be so noisy. They never know when to stop.


  1. After certain verbs (usually verbs of thinking and feeling. Below is a table of some of the most common verbs).


Agree Do you agree to help us?
Arrange I want to arrange a meeting to discuss the new computer system.
Decide I have decided to take the job in New York.
Expect I expected to meet the manager today but he’s ill.
Forget Don’t forget to feed my cat whilst I’m on holiday.
Hope I hope to see you again very soon.
Intend She intends to start her own company.
Learn Peter had always wanted to learn to play the piano.
Like John likes to sing in the shower.
Love We love to go on walking holidays in the mountains.
Manage I managed to finish the work before my boss returned.
Plan We plan to visit my parents at the weekend.
Prefer I prefer to play tennis.
Promise I promise to visit again soon.
Refuse I refuse to listen to your lies.
Remember Could you remember to close the door when you leave?
Tend She tends to talk too much because she’s nervous.
Try Can you try to be more quiet, please. I’m trying to work.


  1. After adjectives


I’m pleased to meet you.

She was sad to see him go.

They were excited to be in the Olympic team.

I would love to eat some chocolate but I’m on a diet at the moment.


  1. Verb + object + to infinitive


I need you to look after the kids while I go the doctor.

We took my parents to see the new Star Wars film.

He wants you to help him paint the kitchen.

Traditionally, grammar experts said you must not split the infinitive. This means to put a word between ‘to’ and the ‘verb’ as in Star Trek’s famous line, ‘To boldly go..’  Strict rules say it should read ‘To go boldly..’  Although, in everyday English, speakers often split the infinitive. It might be a good idea to avoid doing this in formal writing, however.

Further reading:

The Gerund: Learn English Grammar

It and there Learn English Grammar