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    #1

    usually, generally, and so on

    Hello, teachers!

    I'm confused with the use of the adverbs of frequency: usually, generally, often, most often, and so on.

    1. I usually get up at six.
    2. I generally get up at six.
    3. I often get up at six.
    4. I get up at six most often.

    Do they mean the same?

    Thank you very much in advance for your help on this.

    yam.

  1. mayita1usa's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: usually, generally, and so on

    This link will help you with the most common adverbs:
    Frequency Adverbs

    Generally and usually mean about the same thing.

    Often
    by itself is a little less frequent than usually.

    Most often
    -
    adding the superlative (most) - makes it a comparison with other times, and would probably mean almost the same as usually.
    However, I get up at six most often sounds a little awkward to me. I would say either:
    • I most often get up at six; or
    • Most of the time, I get up at six. (This might be a particularly American way of saying it... )

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: usually, generally, and so on

    I don't find that link very helpful; the percentages are pretty meaningless.
    Interpretation can be very subjective. My mother complains that she rarely sees me these days. I feel that she sees me quite often

    For me, there is little difference between frequently and often. All one can really say is that, for most speakers, something that frequently (for example) happens happens more often/frequently than something that rarely happens.


    In descending order of frequency, I'd place them thus;

    always
    usually, generally, normally
    frequently, often
    sometimes
    occasionally
    seldom, rarely, hardly ever
    never

  3. mayita1usa's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: usually, generally, and so on

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I don't find that link very helpful; the percentages are pretty meaningless.
    ...
    In descending order of frequency, I'd place them thus;
    always
    usually, generally, normally
    frequently, often
    sometimes
    occasionally
    seldom, rarely, hardly ever
    never
    I don't think the link was completely "meaningless", as I've had lots of students grasp the idea by presenting it by using percentages (normally I'm not as specific, but it makes the point).

    However, I endorse your descending list above more than the one that is in the link.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: usually, generally, and so on

    Quote Originally Posted by mayita1usa View Post
    I don't think the link was completely "meaningless",
    I didn't say the link was meaningless. I said that the percentages were pretty meaningless.
    Always

    Frequently
    Usually
    Often
    Sometimes
    Occasionally
    Seldom
    Rarely
    Never
    100% of the time
    about 90% of the time
    about 80% of the time
    about 70% of the time
    about 50% of the time
    about 40% of the time
    about 20% of the time

    about 10% of the time
    about 00% of the time
    I .... eat in the pub at the end of my street.

    'Always' in the gap almost certainly means 'every day', though only context will tell is whether I am referring to my main meal or to every meal. 'Never' is clear.

    However, all the other words are used subjectively. For me, 'usually/generally/normally' might be five or six days a week (70%-85%), 'often' might be twice a week' (30%), 'sometimes' perhaps once or twice a month (3-6%) and 'rarely' twice a year (0.8%).

    If, instead of eat in the pub at the end of my street, I said walk to work, the percentages might be rather different.

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    #6

    Re: usually, generally, and so on

    Thank you very much for the instructions, Mr.(?) mayita1usa and Mr. 5jj.
    They are quite helpful to me.

    Thanks again,
    yam.

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