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Dear teacher ,

Could you please give me a brief explanation about the usage of these words;

"always , usually , often"

I'd be grateful if you could relate their properties with some simple examples.

TQ
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Anonymous
Dear teacher ,

Could you please give me a brief explanation about the usage of these words;

"always , usually , often"

I'd be grateful if you could relate their properties with some simple examples.

TQ

always: no exceptions; 55,000,000 times out of 55,000,000; 7 times out of 7 times; x times out of x times (Sometimes people aren't as careful with this term as they should be.)

People always need to breathe.

He is always at work early. (This means he never is anything BUT early.) Putting "almost" in front of "always" allows for a few exceptions. "Almost always" is not as strong as "always" but it is stronger than "usually".

usually: more often than not; the majority of the time

The government in power usually stays in power for more than one term.

often: a lot, but not as much as usually

The freeway (highway) is often crowded, even very early in the morning.

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Examples:

Let's say that Jane eats dinner at the same restaurant 7 days a week for several weeks.

The first week, she has fish for dinner every night. always fish (for dinner that week)

The next week, she has pizza six nights and fish one night. almost always pizza or usually pizza

The next week, she has pizza five nights and fish two nights usually pizza

The following week, she has spaghetti four nights usually spaghetti (still more than half the time)

The last week, she has pancakes three nights often pancakes
AnonymousDear teacher ,

Could you please give me a brief explanation about the usage of these words;

"always , usually , often"

I'd be grateful if you could relate their properties with some simple examples.

TQ

If one must label each adverb for their relative importance in frequencies, I think the following scale may offer a general reference

100% 75% 50% 30% 25% 10% / less 0%

Always frequently Usually Often Occasionally Rarely Never

Seldom

She is _________late for work.
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Hi Goodman,

just curious: how would you label sometimes?

Btw, I'm not that sure about 50% for usually. Emotion: wink
PastsimpleHi Goodman,

just curious: how would you label sometimes?

Btw, I'm not that sure about 50% for usually. Emotion: wink

Hi Pastsimple,

As I had indicated in my last thread, the model scale is only for understanding purpose and may not reflect the actual perception of the easch reader. [Usually] is a vague word. 50% is my perception of the word. Some people may think it should be higher than 50% or lower. When someone says, John is usually a few minutes late for the staff meeting, the perception is that there is a better-than-fifty-percent chance that he is late.

[Sometimes] could be interchangeable with occasionally.
I think the frequency of "frequently" and "often" is alike.

And the frequency of "usually" expresses is more frequent than "frequently" and "often", and only a little rare than "always".
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Hi Maple,

If my observation is correct, this is your first post. Welcome!

When we use “frequency” related adverbs, we usually don’t identify the number of times things happen. So it’s really relative to the perception of the reader.

I USUALLY get up at in the morning. When I make this statement, I mean to tell you that majority of the time I get up at , no percentage or how many times in a month that happens is given.

I ALWAYS get up at in the morning, on the other hand, means no exceptions, rain or shine, I get up everyday at that time.

There are other related words that carry the perceptive meanings as well,e.g. typically, routinely, that may be used to replace “usually” and “often”. Just a little additional point of interest….
Thank you GoodmanEmotion: smile

My impression of them is influenced by some basic English grammar books edited by Chinese authors which I read at middle school.

And maybe it's only up to the perception of the readers as you said.

Thank you again for your comments.

Maple
NefLet's say that Jane eats dinner at the same restaurant 7 days a week for several weeks.
The first week, she has fish for dinner every night. always fish (for dinner that week)
The next week, she has pizza six nights and fish one night. almost always pizza or usually pizza
The next week, she has pizza five nights and fish two nights usually pizza
The following week, she has spaghetti four nights usually spaghetti (still more than half the time)
The last week, she has pancakes three nights often pancakes
Hi,

If I want to use 'all the time' to mean frequency, which example above is fine to use it?

Thanks a lot.
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