Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words)

Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words)



Present Simple

Usually, the position of verbs of frequency is:

-after the verb to be

She is never late

-before the main verb We often watch a film on Fridays.

-between the auxiliary and the main verb in a question and negative Do they alwaysbehave like these?

I don’t usually go to bed late.

always , often, normally, usually

sometimes, seldom , rarely, never

the position of these time markers is usually at the start or the end of the sentence

on Wednesday, on Fridays, every day, …

twice a week, a month

once a day

1. We use the present simple tense for actions that happen again Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) and again/often = repeated or regular actions in the present time period or for ahabit that we have (everyday, sometimes, ever, never).

I sometimes go to school by bike.

Do they get up early?

He often travels.

Does she ever helpyou?

He walks to work twice a week.

We usually eat at my grandmother’s on Sundays.

2. for permanent state.

They live in a village in Scotland.

She doesn't work.

You don't speak Greek.

3. for general truths or naturaland scientific laws.

The earth goes round the sun in 24 hours. Lions eat meat. Water boils at Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) 100 ℃. Birds lay eggs.

4. when we talk about people or things in general

People make choices because they can't have everything they want.

Nurses work in clinics and hospitals.

Football is a very popular sport in Bulgaria.

5. to talk about something in future that is officially organized - (theatre, cinema) programmes and timetables (for airplanes, trains, buses)

(mainly with verbs such as go, leave, arrive, start, come, return etc.)

The next train leaves in an hour

The play begins at nine o’clock.

The plane leaves Athens at 15.25 and arrives in London at 17.25. The course starts next Thursday.

6. We use it in conditional clauses Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) after if, "when", "after", "while", "till"/ "until", "before", "as soon as" -

What shall we do if it rainstomorrow?

When the rain stops, we'll go out.

If you heatwater to 100°C (212°F), it boils. ( zero conditional)

If you finish your homework I'll bring you to the zoo. (first conditional)

7. for narratives, descriptions of games, reviews of plays, films, books.

The little boy opensthe door and he sees a big box on his bed. He runsto the kitchen andtells his mother.

The local team scoresanother goal!

8. to give instructions/directions

Pour all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) smooth. Walkdown the street to the corner and then turn right.

9. -when we say “Where do you come from?”

-when we make a suggestion Why don’t you .....?

He comes from Holland.

-I’m tired.

-Why don’tyou go to bed early?

Present Continuous

at the moment

at this moment

at present



right now



these days

this week

1. We use the present continuous tense for an action that is happening justnow, at the timewhen we are talking.

I’m doinghomeworknow.

I am learning English at the moment. You aren't listening! Why is he sitting here? Listen! Someone is ringing the bell.

2. when Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) we talk about something which is happening at present, but not necessarily at the moment of speaking

I'm reading an interesting book. Tom is looking for a new job.

We are studying English and Spanish.

3. for a temporary action or state (temporary situations)

(period of time at present –today, this week, this semester, this year)

She is teaching English this semester.

She can't go out. She is writing her essay today. We are staying at the Bristol Hotel tonight. You can't borrow this book today. They are spending this week in Paris. I'm living Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) with my parents at the moment but soon I'll buy my own house.

4. for definite arrangements in the near future, to talk about the speaker's plans. (soon, on Monday)

When are you coming to see us?

I am leaving soon. We are meeting on Monday.

5. – to describe changing situations, especially with the verbs to get, to grow, to become, to increase, to change

- to express current trends(текущие тенденции)

It’s getting colder. Dean is gettingbetter after his illness.

Fuel prices are rising constantly because of strong demand. On-line shopping is growing rapidly nowadays.

6. for frequently repeated Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) actions with “always” expressing the speaker’s annoyance or criticism.

He is always boasting! She is always criticizingmy appearance. You are always wearing dirty shoes!

State verbs usually indicate a state. They do not have a continuous form even when they refer to the present time. Such verbs are:

verbs of sense – see, look, notice, hear, sound, smell, taste, feel *(7- feel, hear, look, see, smell, sound, taste are followed by adjectives!!! Not adverbs)

verbs that express likes and dislikes – like, dislike, love, hate, prefer, not mind

verbs of perception – think, believe, know, understand, realize, seem, remember, remind, forget

other verbs such as – have Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words), want, need, cost, mean, belong, own

Some of these verbs they indicate both state and action, but there is difference in meaning.

I see her! There she is. (see=see)

The silk feels soft. (feel=has texture)

Dinner tastes great. (taste=has the taste of)

Those socks smell awful. (smell=have an odour ['əudə] запах (обычно неприятный))

Most people love/engoy eating out.(like it in general)

I think you are pretty. (think=consider/opinion)

He is a difficult person to get on with.(his character is difficult)

I’m seeing him today. (see=meet)

She is feeling the Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) silk (feel=touch)

He is tasting the soup (taste=try)

The dog is smelling its food.(smell=smell)

She is loving/enjoying every minute of her holiday. (she likes specifically а именно,- наслаждается сейчас)

Are you thinking about the test? (think=think)

She is being particularly generous this week. (she’s behaving generously, her behavior is unusual)

Present Perfect





not yet,

so far,

till now,

up to now

this is the first time

it’s the first time




How long?

1. for a single or repeated action in the pastwhen we don’t know or aren’t interested in when it Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) happened. What concerns us is the action itself.

We have bought a new car. He has lived with Amazon Indians. We have moved into a new house. Diana has changed her job.

2. with adverbs such as ever, already, never, recently, lately, yet, always, etc.

They have never beenabroad. Jane has already received her birthday presents. The child hasnever askedme such questions before. She has never expected such a change for the worse. My colleague has beenvery busy recently.

3. for past events and activities with results and consequences in the present and they influence it in some way (the effects Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) are important now.)

I have lost my key.(And so she has no key now)She has been to London. (And so she knows London.)She has lost some weight and she looks very nice. Dad has broken his glasses, so he can’t read the newspaper.

4. for action that has just stopped, finished

She has just finished cooking dinner.

The play has just finished. Emma has just washed her hair.

5. for activities or states that started in the past and continue in the present (often with since and for).

She has known me for more than two years. How long Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) have they been here? My sister-in-law has been a teacher since 2000. David has worked in Spain since 1996. He hasn't smoked for three years. We have lived here for fifteen years.

6. to talk about experiences: what somebody has or hasn’t done during his lifetime. (we often use ever, never, before)

I have never been to Australia.

I’ve visited many countries.

Have you ever ridden a camel?

We have never flown in a hot air balloon. It’s the first time I have ever eaten Chinese food.

6. emphasis the number of repetitions of Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) the action or the number of things that have derived from this (time of completion is unspecified)

(with so far, many times, since, for the last year, for hours, for a week, several times, etc.)

I have written five letters this morning! She has called you ten times today! She has had four cups of coffee since she woke up. I have written many letters since I moved to Canada.

We have had five tests so far this semester. He has been in New York many times. I have played tennis every Sunday morning for the last two years.

7.we often use Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) Present Perfect after the superlatives

This is one of the most beautiful country she has ever visited.

This is the most delicious food I have ever eaten.

8. with the expressions "This is the first time...", "It's the first time...", etc.

This is the first time I've ever visited your website and I think it is awesome.

It's the first time I've ever eaten Chinese food.

9. sometimes to emphasise on the completion of the act in the time clause (with time words such as when, until, after, before, as soon as)

You can go out Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) as soon as you have finished your homework.

I will go to bed after I have written my report.

Present Perfect Continuous

with time words since,


all day,

all afternoon, every day this year,

How long?

1. to say how long something has been happening. The action began in the past, continues in the present (or has just stopped), and may continue into the future

Ann has been playing tennis for two hours. (Ann is playing tennis now. She began to play tennis two hours ago and she is still playing.) I have been waiting for my girlfriend since 6 o'clock. He Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) has been smoking for ten years. Nancy has been skiing since she was 8. We have been living here for seven years. He has been watching TV all evening.

2. to talk about an action which began in the past and has recently finished or just finished (without time words):

Bob and Gloria have just come back from the park. They have been jogging and they are very tired now.

Your shirt is so dirty. What have you been doing?

Susan has been talking to Mike.

3. to express an action or general activity in progress (without time words or with recently Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words), lately):

Viktoria has been thinking about changing her job.

Michael has been studying hard lately.

Robert has been having problems with his back recently. express anger, irritation, annoyance, explanation or criticism

She has been using my make-up.

!Sometimes the Present Perfect Simple and the Present Perfect Continuous have identical or slightly different meaning:

1. I have lived here for 6 years. (the situation may be permanent)

2. I have been living here for 6 years. (the situation may be temporary)

Past Simple


2 minutes ago,

in 1990,

the other day,

last Friday

1. We use Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) it for completed activities, events or situations that happened in the past at a definite time. These actions and situations were started and finished in the past.

a) The time can be given in the sentence

b) The time is asked about

c) The time is not given in the sentence, but it is clear from a context that the action or situation finished in the past.

a) I came home at 6 o'clock. When he was a child, he didn't live in a house.

b) When did they get married?

c) He is 20 years old. He was born in Canada Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words).

- Alan: I've been to Iceland. (present perfect)

- Greg: Did you enjoy it? (past simple)

This morning I wentto the supermarket.

My brother lived in London for six years. (he doesn't live there anymore)

2. to describe habits or actions that happened often in the past

Note: This use is also often expressed with used to

We walked to school every day. He always drank a glass of milk in the morning.

Bob usedto smoke 20 cigarettes a day.

3. to describe actions that happened one after another in the past. (when we tell a story)

Charles entered the hall and looked around. He Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) took off his coat and put it on a chair. He was at home. It happened one night in the winter.

4. to refer to the historical past or to events that have happened in the distant past relative to the speaker

World War II ended in 1945.

Romans built strong bridges.

5. for reporting what someone said (converting from direct to reported speech)

David saidthat he was tired.

The doctor told me that I would have to stay in the hospital for a week.

6. to talk about action in the past that take place in the middle of another action

When Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) Peter arrived, I was reading a book.

I was having a bath when the phone rang.

7. for making second conditional sentences when we talk about an imaginary or unlikely situation and to describe its result. (If + past simple, would + infinitive)

If I won the lottery, I would travel the world.

If I were you, I wouldn't marry him.

Past Continuous



all day long

all night long

the whole evening yesterday

all the morning yesterday

yesterday at 4

at that time the day before yesterday

from 5 till 6 last Monday

when mother came home… describe an action that was taking place at a specific point Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) in time in the past.

What were you doing аt 7 p.m. yesterday?

Last summer at this time he was visiting Mexico. They were dancing at a friend's birthday party last night at 10.30 p.m.

2. to describe an action that was interrupted by another action in the past. The action with the longest duration is in the past continuous.

While I was walking down the street I met an old friend. They were playing cards when Jim came. He phoned as we were leaving the house.

3. to indicate that two actions in the past were in the progress Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) simultaneously (with while)

While I was taking a shower, mother was соoking breakfast. While I was studying in one room my elder sister was having a party in the other room.

4. to express action that were in progress at the time of another particular time

It was snowing all morning.

They were driving all night long.

5. to talk about irritating repeated actions in the past (with always, constantly)

My girlfriend was always coming late.

He was always forgetting to close the door.

6. to make polite inquiries

I was wondering if you could lend me your new car for a few hours.

7. to Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) describe the scene at the beginning of a story

It was early in the morning. People were going to work and children were hurrying to school.

Past Perfect

with adverbs like already,


already... by, before,



if either before or after is used Past Simple may be used instead Past Perfect)

1. to say that something had already happened before another action or specific time in the past

* the action which occurs previously in time is expressed in the past perfect tense, and the action which occurs later is expressed in the past tense

When Linda arrived her husband had left.

I read Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) in the newspaper that he had made a great discovery. They were sure they had met the girl before. John had repaired the car by 6 o’clock. Lilly had already finished her homework when Victoria came.

2. in reported speech after verbs like told, asked, said, wanted, wondered, explained

He told me that he had never been in London. I asked him how many books he had sold. Your parents wanted to know what you had done yesterday. We wondered if Daniel had passed his final exam.

3. to show regret about the past

I wish I had brought my camera. (but I Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) didn't)

I wish we had stayed at another hotel.

4. in third conditional, also called conditional type 3 (if + past perfect in the 'if' clause, perfect conditional in the main clause). This is a structure we use to talk about unreal conditions in the past.

If I had written the report last week I would have given it to you.

If the children had been good their mother would have taken them to the zoo.

He would have solved the problem if he had known how.

5. with conjunctions like no sooner ... than or hardly/barely ... when

No sooner had Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) I returned home than it began to snow.

Hardly had he finished working, when his girlfriend arrived.

6. a state that started in the past, and continued up to some time in the past

I had lived in Spain for 3 years before I got used to the country.

He had worked there for two years before he got fired. They had lived in New York for 5 years before they moved to Los Angeles.

Past Perfect Continuous



1. to express an ongoing action in the past before a particular time or another action in the past. The Past Perfect Continuous emphasizes a duration of time before something Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words).

Susan had been studying Spanish for 3 years before she started to learn English.

He had been running until he was out of breath.

They had been watching TV for two hours before Mike came.

Diana had been playing tennis for half an hour when it began to rain.

I had been writing letters before lunch.

At 10 o'clock Kate had been playing the piano for two hour. (She began at 8 o'clock and at 10 o'clock she was still playing.)

2. for past events or actions which had a result in the past.

The grass was wet. It had been Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) raining all morning. Tom was very tired. He had been working in the garden for a long time.

Remember, that we use the Past Perfect Tense for finished actions in the past and with state verbs (be, know, belong, hear, believe, like, mean, etc.).

Peter had been there for nearly 2 hours when they finally arrived.

3. The Past Perfect Continuous Tense also appears in third conditional sentences (1) and in reported speech (2), when we want to emphasize a duration of time.

If he hadn't been reading for hours last night, he would have got up earlier.

She said she Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) had been teaching English for the last three years in Japan.

Future Simple



later today,

in five minutes,

in two hours,

in a year,

on Monday, on Saturday afternoon,

next …,


this year


I think,

I don’t think,

probably, perhaps

I expect,

I am sure,

I wonder

I believe

After hope we usually use present (will is also possible)

1. to say that something will happen in the future.

Note: In certain situations we use 'will' to emphasize:

I will finish my report later today.

You will drink your milk!
I will find a job.

2. we decide to do something at Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) the moment of speaking(on-the-spot, spontaneous decisions

Oh, I’ve left the door open. I’ll go and shut it.

Did you phone Lucy? – Oh, no! I forgot. I’ll phone her now. request help or offer help or to ask smb to to smth

Will you please help me to do my homework?

That bag looks heavy. I’ll helpyou with it.

Will you please turn the stereo down, I’m trying to concentrate.

4. agreeingto do somth

Can you give Tim this book? Sure, I’ll giveit to him when I see him this afternoon.

5. to make promises Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) or threats

Thanks for lending me the money. I’ll payyou back on Friday.

I'll tell your parents what you did.

"I'll beback."

6. to refuses to do smth

I’ve tried to give her advice but she won’t listen.

7. to warn and to show fears

Don’t be so noisy! Your Dad will get angry. I am afraid somebody will steal my new car.

8. actions or predictions which may (not) happen in the future /

predictions based onopinions, beliefs, intuition, knowledge, experience


actions which we cannot control and will inevitably happen.

He will probablycome back tomorrow.

He willprobablypass his driving Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) test.

I think, Sara will like the present you bought her.I predict that Congress will pass an anti-piracy law soon.I don't think he'll come tonight.

Summer will be here soon.

9. things that we are not yet sure about or we haven’t decided to do yet

Perhaps, I’ll moveto a new house.

10. with words and expressions such as: probably, possibly, perhaps,(I'm) sure, (I) expect, (I) wonder

I'll probably get there by my car.
You must read this book. I'm sure you'll like it. I expect Tom will pass his exam. I Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) wonder, what will happen.

11. to talk about consequences (with if, when, provided, unless, as, as soon as, as long as, etc.)

If it begins to rain, I'll certainly need an umbrella.
She will tell him when he calls.

12. when the main verb is be even if we talk about planned events

I'll be in Athens tomorrow.

I'll be at a conference next week.

13. Shall I? Shall we?- used in questions Shall I? Shall we?- to ask smb’s opinion about especially in offers and suggestions

( Note: mainly in British English)

'Shall' is also used as an Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) imperative in formal or legal written statements:

ShallI open a window? =Do you want me to open the window?

I’ve got no money. What shall I do? = What do you suggest?

The Chairman shall be present at the Company's general meetings.The accused shall be present during the trial.

Going to

in one year,

next week, tomorrow


the day after tomorrow

1. actions intended to be performed in the near future (I ‘ve already decided to do it!)

I am going to join a gym on Saturday.

2. planned actions or intentions (we say what we have arranged to do)

I am leaving Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) tomorrow. I’ve got my plane ticket.

3. to make predictions about events when there is a concrete evidence (‘something is going to happen’-the situation now makes it clear)

The sky is absolutely dark. It is going to rain.

4. things we are sure about or we have already decided to do in the near future.

! Note: 'Will' is used instead of 'going to' when a formal style is required, particularly in the written language

The wedding will take place on May 8th. The ceremony will begin at 4pm, followed by a meal and a big party.

Future Continuous

in one year,

next Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) week, tomorrow at 6

1. to describe an activity that will occur in the future and continue for a certain period of time. We can specify the time when the activity is going to take place

Tom will be attending the conference next month. They'll be shopping all afternoon. I'll be working late at the office tonight. We'll be flying over the Atlantic Ocean for three hours. Tonight at 11 p.m. we will be dancing at the party.

2. is also used when we talk about an activity that will continue over a period of time from now into the future Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) (an activity in progress that started at the present moment or at some time around the present moment)

They'll be studying until 5 o'clock.

She'll be playing tennis until she gets tired. Susan will be waiting for the bus 10 more minutes.

2. to indicate that a longer action in the future will be interrupted by a shorter action in the future(in this case the shorter action in the future is expressed with Present Simple)

I'll be making dinner when he arrives tonight. She'll be playing the piano when her parents come home.

3. We can also Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) use the Future Continuous to project ourselves into the future and see something happening.

You'll recognize me when you get there. I'll be wearing jeans and a white T-shirt. I'll be sitting at a table at he corner and reading a newspaper. This time tomorrow I'll be having dinner at one of the New York's finest restaurants.

4. to talk about what we believe or guess is happening at the moment of speaking (1, 2) or will be happening at a particular time in the future (3)

Don't call him now. He'll be doing Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) his homework. I don't want to disturb them.

I’m sure they'll be cleaning their house at the moment.

Please, don't come at 9 o'clock. She'll be sleeping at that time.

5. to talk about things that we expect to happen in the usual course of events (the event is certain and will happen naturally

I will be seeing Ann tomorrow at the office. (we work together)

We will be meeting Mike at the festival this weekend.

6. is also used for predictions or expected trends in the future

By 2030, most people in Africa will be living Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) in urban areas.

7. Sometimes to make polite enquiries, when we wish to know what somebody's plans are

Will you be coming with me to the concert tonight? Will you be going to the next meeting in December?

We never use future forms after: as long as, after, before, by the time, if(conditional), unless, in case, till/until, when(time conjunction), whenever, while, once, suppose,/supposing, on condition that.

Let’s buy more foodin caseJamescomes.(not:in caseJameswill come)

If meaning ‘whether’ especially after I don’t know, I doubt, I wonder etc and when used as a question Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) word – can be used with future forms.

When will the race take place? I doubt if they will holdtheir annual anniversary party this year.

Future Perfect

by the time,

by next week,

by then,

by next year,

by the year 2020

1. to express an action that will be completed in the future (usually before another action or event in the future)

I will have accomplished the task by the time my coleague returnes. She will have cooked dinner by the time her husband repears the car. Tina will have washed the dishes. By the time you arrive, my foreign guests will have left. He Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) will have written his report. By the time we get to the cinema the movie will have started.

2. to say that an action will be completed before a specific time in the future

The student will have passed his exam by Friday. I will have finished the writing by midnight. By next January I will have lived here for 10 years. By 10 o'clock I will have finished the translation. By the end of the month we will have finishedthe course.

They will have known each other for eight years this June.

3. to express what we think or guess Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) has probably happened in the recent past

Why don’t you visit them? They will probably have returned from their vacation. I suppose, you will have heard the news of the day.

We can also form the Future Perfect Tense with "be going to". "Will" form and "be going to" form can be used interchangeably. (взаимозаменяемо)

She is going to have finished her homework by the time her schoolmate arrives. She will have finished her homework by the time her schoolmate arrives.

Used to

to say that something regularly happened in the past but no longer happens

(an old habit, to Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) emphasize repetition in past positive sentences)

For past situations (which no longer exist)

It is better not to use "used to" in questions or negative forms; however, this is sometimes done in informal spoken English. It is better to ask questions and create negative sentences using Simple Past.

I used to play tennis a lot, but now I’m too lazy. (also would play tennis)

We used to live in a flat. (not would)

She used to have long hair but she cut it some time ago. Sarah used to be fat, but now she is thin.


expresses past repeated Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) actions and routines – not states

‘would’ is slightly more formal, more ‘bookish’ and can convey the idea that the speaker is reminiscing about the past. It is often used in writing to talk about the past in a misty-eyed, sentimental way.

When I was young, I would go for a walk before. (also I used to go)

In those days people would draw water from the village well.

When I was a child I would wake up to the sound of birds singing.

Be/Get used to

to express habitual actions and means ‘be/get accustomed to’, ‘be in the Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words) habit of’, it is not new or strange to me.

She is used to driving on the left. Heis used to living alone.

Notice! not she is used to drive

Was going to

Expresses actions one intended to do but didn’t

She was going to buy a new watch but unfortunately she couldn’t afford one.

The following verbs are usually only used in Simple Present (not in the progressive form).

state: be, cost, fit, mean, suit Example: We are on holiday.

possession: belong, have Example: Sam has a cat.

senses: feel, hear, see, smell, taste, touch Example: He feels the cold Adverbs of frequency ( Signal Words).

feelings: hate, hope, like, love, prefer, regret, want, wish Example: Jane loves pizza.

brain work: believe, know, think, understand Example: I believe you.

Introductory clauses for direct speech: answer, ask, reply, say Example: “I am watching TV,“ he says.

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