Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of frequency are used to describe how frequently or how often someone does something.

Grammatical Structure for Adverbs of Frequency: 

before the main verb

    Adverb of frequency Verb  
I always get up at 6.45.
Peter can usually play football on Sundays.
Mandy has sometimes got lots of homework.

after a form of to be am, are, is (was, were)

  Verb Adverb of frequency  
Susan is never late.

The adverbs often, usually, sometimes and occasionally can go at the beginning of a sentence.

Sometimes I go swimming.
Often we surf the internet.

Sometimes these adverbs are put at the end of the sentence.
We read books occasionally.

Adverbs of frequency can be divided into two different groups Definite Frequency and Indefinite Frequency

Definite Frequency: 

For definite frequency we know exactly how often something takes place


  • Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly
  • every second, once a minute, twice a year
  • once, twice, once or twice, three times

Adverbs of definite frequency, will usually go after the verb in a sentence for example:

  • Most companies pay taxes yearly
  • The manager checks the toilet every hour,
  • The directors meet weekly to review progress

Indefinite Frequency

For indefinite frequency we are usually unsure of when the event takes places


  • never, seldom, often, always 

Adverbs of indefinite frequency will generally go before the main verb: 

  • We usually  go shopping on Saturday.
  • I have often done that.
  • She is always late.
Occasionally, sometimes, often, frequently and usually can also go at the beginning or end of a sentence:

  • Sometimes they come and stay with us.
  • I play tennis occasionally.


Rarely and seldom can also go at the end of a sentence (often with “very”):

  • We see them rarely.
  • John eats meat very seldom.

adverbs of frequency 1

Adverbs of frequency Exercises



Skimming and Scanning (Grade 11.7)


Skimming is looking quickly through a text to get the general idea of a subject. For example some people will skim through a newspaper to see which articles interests them or to find out the general idea of a reading. In an exam situation you may skim through a reading to find the parts that you need to study carefully

Skimming helps you to save time


Scanning is when you quickly look through an article looking for specific information e.g. names, facts or figures. For example you may scan through a phone directory looking for a specific telephone number.

Scanning helps you to quickly locate information without having to read through everything

Now try out the exercises

Independent Exercise for Skimming and Scanning Maker of Animated GIFs Waits for Offbeat Moments Skimming and Scanning Reading Skimming and Scanning ex 1

Learning to listen for Specific Details

Listening for Details 

Generally speaking during the listening part of an exam you may need to listen for specific details these are usually numbers, names, addresses and dates. 

Telephone Numbers: 

Listening for telephone numbers is a common detail that can appear in a listening test such as the IELTS. In order for you to listen for telephone numbers correctly there are a few points that we should consider:

  • 0 is pronounces as “oh” and your most unlikely to hear “zero”
  • if there is a double number we say “double 7”
  • We don’t say the numbers one by one we read them in groups of two or three


When you are listening for an address, you should expect a number and a street name. Typically, the number will come before the name of the street, for example:

“14 Bond Street”

Types of different Roads

The name of the road will either be spelt out to you or will be a common English word that you should be able to spell. However you should be able to spell the different types of words that can be used to describe roads

  • Road
  • Lane
  • Street
  • Avenue

You should also be prepared to write down letters and numbers for post-codes. Please remember that in the UAE post-codes are not used so this may be something new for you e.g.

14 York Road,


NW12 34AH

The Spelling of Names

If you have to spell a name it will usually be spelt out for you letter by letter so you don’t need to worry. However some people can find this difficult and the letters which generally cause the most difficulties are as follows:

  • a as in say
  • e as in teeth
  • i as in eye
  • x as in ex-wife
  • y as in why


There are a number of different ways in which to say and write down dates. The most common system is:

The 25th of November”

However if you have to write down a date in  a listening exam and you have a word limit of one or two words you don’t need to write down of

Common Traps when listening for specific details

Quite often you will hear more than date/time/number and the one you need is not the first one you hear, To make it harder the speaker in the listening may even give you a piece of information and then go back to correct it, in this case make sure youwrite the second correct version

Practice Exercise

Look at these questions what kind of things should you be listening for? Discuss with a partner and then share your ideas with the class:

  1. Type of van required:
  2. Preferred make of van:
  3. Date of collection:
  4. Length of hire
  5. Name: Justin ______________
  6. Address: _____________ Street, Toronto
  7. Telephone Number:
  8. Driving Convictions:
  9. Identification to be provided:
  10. Card Number:

Listening for Specific Details Independent Ex 2 part-i-listening-van-hire Listening For Details Independent exercise 2

Learning to Listen for the main idea

Tips for listening to the main idea

There are four keys to identifying the main idea in a listening and these are as follows:

Look out for certain phrases these could include :

  •  The point I want to make/cover here is …….
  • The main point is…..
  • The important thing here is …
  • What I’m trying to show is ….
  • What I’m going to talk about today is…. 
  • The purpose of my remark is…. 
  • This afternoon I’d like to explain / focus on 

Sometimes the speaker may ask a question to the audience (this is known as rhetorical question). This is also another way to introduce the main idea.

Another way to identify main ideas is to listen for repetition (how many times a word is repeated). If a word is repeated several times it will generally suggest that it is something important

Pace or speed of talking is also an important way to identify what is important. Generally speaking unimportant or small details are spoken more quickly whereas important points such as the “main idea” will spoken more slowly or clearly.

Guided Exercise (Main idea) Listening for Main Idea Indepndent exercise Listening for Main Ideas Independent Exercise

Task 1 Enrichment (11.7)

Task 1: 

In groups create a mind map and discuss the following questions

  • What is a CV?
  • Why do we need one?
  • Who do we send our CV to ?
  • Why do we need to keep our CV up to date?

Share your ideas with the rest of the class:

Task 2: 

In groups discuss the following:

  • What kind of things should you or shouldn’t you include in a resume
  • Watch the video and add to your list of thing (Please note that the teacher will show the video to you)
  • Share your ideas with the rest of the class.

Task 3: 

Complete the following worksheet. Please note that this worksheets needs to be typed and handed in .

Language for Describing a Graph

Choosing the chart: 

When Trying to describe a graph or chart it is important to decide what kind of graph or chart your describing

A flow chart is a diagram showing the progress of material through the steps  of a manufacturing process  or the succession of operations in a complex activity A pie chart displays the size of each part as a percentage of a whole A (vertical or horizontal) bar chart is used to compare unlike items 
A line chart depicts changes over a period of time, showing data and trends  A table is a convenient way to show large amount of data   in a small space  A diagram is a drawing showing arrangements and situations, such as networks  distribution, fluctuation …

Presenting a Graph 

These are phrases that can be used to present a graph or chart:




This graph shows the results of our products … over 10 years.
The diagram outlines rates of economic growth … between 1990 and 1996.
This table lists the top ten agencies … in the industrial world.
This pie chart represents the company’s turnover … for this year in our sector.
This line chart depicts the changes in sales … over the past year.
This chart breaks down (ventile) … the sales of each salesman … during the past ten weeks.

Four Basic Trends

Generally speaking there are four basic trends that can be reported

  • Upward movement
  • Downward movement
  • No movement
  • Change in Direction

Describing an upward movement: 






(to) increase (to) increase (an) increase
(to) raise (to) rise (rose, risen) (a) raise (US), a rise (UK)
(to) push/put/step up (to) go/be up (an) upswing
(to) grow (a) growth
(to) extend, (to) expand (to) extend, (to) expand (an) extension, expansion
(to) progress (a) progression
(to) boom/soar/climb (a) boom
(to) jump, (to) skyrocket (a) jump
(to) reach a peak, (to) peak (a) peak
(to) reach an all-time high

Describing a Downward movement 






(to) decrease (to) decrease (a) decrease
(to) cut, (to) reduce (a) cut, (a) reduction
(to) fall (off)    (fall, fell, fallen) (a) fall
(to) plunge, to plummet (a) plunge
(to) drop (off) (a) drop
(to) go down (a) downswing
(to) decline (a) decline
(to) collapse (a) collapse (dramatic fall)
(to) slump, (to) go bust (a) slump
(to) bottom out

Describing No Movement 






(to) keep … stable (to) remain stable
(to) hold … constant (to) stay constant
(to) stabilize (to) stabilize stability

Indicating a change of direction 






(to) level off

(to) level off/out, to flatten out

(a) levelling-off

(to) stop falling/rising

(a) change

(to) stand at

(to) remain steady

(to) stop falling and start rising

(to) stop rising and start falling

Indicating the Degree or Speed of Change 

Describing change in a graph

Please complete the following exercises

Describing Graphs and Trends

Talking about your likes and dislikes

Task 1: 

Read the following essential language information box

Likes and Dislikes

Task 2

Using the essential language that has been introduced create a 3 minute presentation about how you feel about different types of reading matter. Choose from the following. You must choose at least three

  • Daily newspapers
  • Thrillers
  • Science fiction
  • Fashion magazines
  • Romantic Novels
  • Biographies
  • Historical novels
  • Poetry
  • Non-fiction
  • Classic Novels
  • Gossip Magazines
  • Scientific Journals

Once your have prepared your presentation present it to the class.

Summary Completion

Format of the Question: 

In this kind of question you are asked to complete a summary of the reading passage by using words that you can select from a box, it is important to note that:

  1. There are more words in the box than questions.
  2. The words in box are usually not the same as in the reading passage.
  3. The summary may relate to the whole passage or only part of it.
  4. The text of the summary will generally follow the order of the text of the passage.


Suggested Procedure

  1. Read through the summary carefully and make sure you understand what you have read.
  2. Work out which section of the reading the summary comes from.
  3. Think about what forms will fit the sentence i.e. if there is an article there should be a noun.
  4. Look for words in the word box that fit grammatically
  5. Identify key words in the summary and see if you can find synonyms in the text
  6. Use the information you have found to help you work out the answer



Now use the above procedures and strategies on the attached reading task

Summary Completion ex 1 Summary Completion Ex 2


I’m not exactly in the Lake Districts

Task 1: 

Silently read through chapter 1

Task 2: 

Create a character log about Liam. Remember that as you read through the book add information about the character to your log. Your log could include the following information:

  1.  Information about his personal qualities.
  2. His emotions
  3. His opinions and attitudes to people and events
  4. Quotations that support your opinion of Liam

Task 3: 

In groups note down and discuss why you think the author would start the story in the middle of a plot line? Do you think that this is an effective way of starting a story? Share your ideas with the class.