The frequency of an action describes the number of times the action happens during a period of time. We can describe frequency in 2 ways:
Adverbs of frequency
never: Mark never cleans the bathroom.
sometimes: Mark sometimes cleans the bathroom.
often: Mark often cleans the bathroom.
For more information, see my lesson about adverbs of frequency.
Expressions of frequency
There are also some excellent expressions to describe frequency. In this lesson, you will learn 5 of them.
“without fail” means that something is very regular. If we do an action without fail, we always do it. We do not forget it.
Andrew makes a new English lesson on his Youtube channel every Tuesday without fail.
I visit my parents twice a month without fail.
Jane goes swimming every morning without fail.
We also use “without fail” to make a promise to do something.
Mark: Are you sure that you’re coming to the party tonight?
Jane: Yes, I’ll be there without fail.
“like clockwork” means that something is very regular.
“like clockwork” describes something that happens at exactly the planned time.
The origin of the expression is of course the mechanics of a clock or watch.
My dad calls me at 2 o’clock every day like clockwork.
The buses in London run like clockwork.
“as regular as clockwork” is another version of this expression.
He wakes up every day at 7 o’clock, as regular as clockwork.
“religiously” also means that something is very regular.
A person with a lot of discipline does things religiously.
“religiously” describes doing an important task regularly.
I call my grandparents religiously every week.
Jane walks her dog religiously every morning.
“religiously” also means “to do something carefully and strictly”.
The chef followed the recipe religiously.
Teacher: Follow the instructions for the exam religiously.
every now and again / every now and then
“every now and again” and “every now and then” mean “sometimes”.
They describe things that are not regular.
They describe things that happen occasionally.
I have a glass of wine every now and again.
She reads a newspaper every now and then.
from time to time
“from time to time” also means “sometimes”.
“from time to time” describes an action that does not happen often.
My sister calls me from time to time.
Mark wears a suit from time to time.
I go to the cinema from time to time.