How Often?

Hello English Learners!

This is the second lesson and we’re going to be looking at a phrase that many learners get wrong.

How Often?

Once a week I go to the gym and work out. I know I should do it more often but I just can’t find the time. Doing it on a weekly basis is better than nothing!

Twice a day I brush my teeth (of course!) and I shave my beard once every other day.

I take my dog to the vets twice weekly. I know it’s a lot, but I worry about him! The bill for his pet insurance comes every 2 weeks.

Every now and then, I will weed my garden, but it’s not high on my list of priorities.


Once a day / Daily
These are the two accepted ways of saying something happens every day. It’s also possible to say “one time a day” but this can sound strange. When we use “daily” in a sentence, we often say “on a daily basis” (we can replace “daily” with any other time such as weekly, monthly, etc.)

Once a week / Weekly
Just like the first one, but for weeks.

Twice a week / Twice weekly
We can say “twice” instead of “two times”

Three times a week
But we don’t say “thrice” (unless you want to sound very old-fashioned)

Every other day
This is very useful – it means happening once every two days. So in a week, it would happen on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, etc.

Every 2 weeks
We can say “every” + “time” to say it happens once in that time and repeats. For example: I have my birthday once every 12 months.

Every now and then
This means the same as “sometimes” or “occasionally”

Biweekly? Biannually?
I would recommend not using these. There’s a lot of confusion because it can mean two things. It can sometimes mean “twice a week” or “every 2 weeks”. So to avoid confusing people, use a different phrase.


Practice the words in the comments!

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