The word "often" is an adverb that is used for situations that happen frequently compared to other, similar situations. Synonyms for "often" are usually, many times, and a lot.

  • She’s goes there often. (She goes there a lot.)
  • He often wears sunglasses. (He usually wears sunglasses.)
  • I often drive through Wisconsin. (I have driven through Wisconsin many times.)

The use of this word is dependent on the person who uses it, or it’s dependent on the situation.

  • Tony is often late for work. (He’s late six or seven times per month. That’s a lot!)
  • We often eat at the diner down the street. (We eat there two or three times per week.)
  • I often visit New York on business. (I go there three or four times per year.)
  • He often raises his hand in class. (He’s a good student and he participates in classroom discussion every day.)

boy raising his hand He often raises his hand.

When "often" is used with negative verbs, it regularly goes to the end of the sentence:

  • She doesn’t go there often.
  • He doesn’t wear sunglasses often.
  • I don’t drive through Wisconsin often.
  • I don’t often drive through Wisconsin. (Some people put "often" between the helping verb and the main verb. This is okay.)

The adverbs "too" and "very" are used with "often."

  • He sends text messages way too often. (The situation is bad.)
  • We’re able to see our friends very often. (This situation is good.)

The video below shows how questions are made with the word "often."


Note: Most people don’t pronounce the "t" in "often," but it’s okay if you do.

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.

April 15, 2015