The word "occasion" is used when describing a special event or time.

  • A wedding is a special occasion.
  • We’re saving a bottle of champagne for the right occasion.
  • It looks like they’re having a party. What’s the occasion?
  • The death of a local or national leader is an occasion marked by an American flag at half mast.
  • On several different occasions, I’ve needed to access files on my computer from a remote location. Now I just use Google Drive.

The adjective form of this word is "occasional." It’s similar to the word "sometimes." (Listen to me talk about the pronunciation of this word.)

  • Tom makes an occasional appearance at city council meetings because he’s a business leader.
  • Sandra has an occasional need for a babysitter if she’s busy at work.
  • The house down the street receives an occasional visit from the police because of domestic problems.
  • Occasional flooding in an area near the river has caused many residents to move away.

Use the word "occasionally" as an adverb.

  • Lena’s parents occasionally visit her on the weekends.
  • Jim’s PC occasionally breaks down, so he’s thinking about buying a new iMac.
  • We occasionally go to the ballpark to watch a baseball game.
  • Occasionally I go golfing with my friends.

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This page was first published on March 10, 2013. It was updated on February 12, 2017.