Hi teachers,

Could you tell me if these are good rules?

Rule#1

The frequency adverbs "seldom", "rarely", and "never" are negative words. This means that you do not need the auxiliary "do" when you use them in a negative.

Rule#2

We only use the frequency adverbs "always, often" and "usually" in negative sentences with the verb in negative.

Thanks in advance
1. This is generally correct. An ordinary negative uses "do," as in: I do not go to bars. With these adverbs, you don't use "do," as in: I seldom go to bars. I rarely go to bars. I never go to bars.

However, "do" is sometimes used with these adverbs, as in: Do you go to bars? I seldom/rarely/never do.

2. This is generally true, as in: I do not always go straight home after work. I do not often go to bars. I usually do not go to bars.

However, sometimes these adverbs are used in negative-type sentences without the words "do not," as in: I always avoid going to bars when on a date. I often avoid going to bars when on a date. I usually avoid going to bars when on a date.
Thinking SpainThe frequency adverbs "seldom", "rarely", and "never" are negative words. This means that you do not need the auxiliary "do" when you use them in a negative.
To be honest, this is an ill-conceived notion. You don't use these in a negative, so you can't have a rule about how to use them in a negative. The fact that you use them creates a negative, and you can't have double negatives in English, so you can't add any more negative elements to a sentence that already contains one.

Also, there is no real need to separate these frequency adverbs from any other adverbs with the same property. You could add expressions with "hardly", "barely", and "scarcely" to your list, for example.

Thinking SpainWe only use the frequency adverbs "always, often" and "usually" in negative sentences with the verb in negative.
I think I understand what you're trying to say, but this isn't clear enough. In any case, fortunately, you don't even need a rule for this. You're just saying that these are ordinary adverbs. You can't have another rule each time you encounter a new adverb simply to say that this adverb, too, follows the usual pattern.

CJ
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Hi again,
CalifJimThe fact that you use them creates a negative, and you can't have double negatives in English, so you can't add any more negative elements to a sentence that already contains one.
Wow, this is an excellent explanation that surfs deeply in the reason. Emotion: geeked

CalifJimYou can't have another rule each time you encounter a new adverb simply to say that this adverb, too, follows the usual pattern.
Very clear! No further questions at this point, I guess.Emotion: wink

Best regards

TS
Hi Anoymous,

Thank you so much for your reply and the explanations of course.

AnonymousHowever, sometimes these adverbs are used in negative-type sentences without the words "do not," as in: I always avoid going to bars when on a date. I often avoid going to bars when on a date. I usually avoid going to bars when on a date.
I didn't know these ones.Emotion: wink

TS
Hi CalifJIm,

That's what I wrote.

The frequency adverbs "seldom", "rarely", and "never" are negative words. This means that you do not need the auxiliary "do" when you use them in a negative.

On a second thought, I think that these adverbs are just like the quantity words 'few' and 'little': even though they are used with an affirmative verb they express a negative idea.

Is that consistent? Can I give this explanation for the frequency adverbs "seldom", "rarely", and "never"? Even though they are used with an affirmative verb they express a negative idea.

Thank you

TS
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Thinking SpainI think that these adverbs are just like the quantity words 'few' and 'little': even though they are used with an affirmative verb they express a negative idea. ... Even though they are used with an affirmative verb they express a negative idea.
Right.

CJ
Hi CalifJim,

Thank you for the reply. One more thing that is really clear.

Best Regards

TS