Habitual Behavior in the Present 1

Habitual behavior in the present

  • A. The present simple is used for habitual actions or permanent situations in the present.

Example: ” I go for a run twice a week.”

” She lives near the station.”

  • B. Frequency adverbs are used to indicate how often an action occurs. They are usually placed:

1. Before the main verb:

Example: I always go to bed before midnight.

2. After the verb to be or an auxiliary verb:

Example: She is very often late for work.

They have rarely been seen together.

3. usually, normally, frequently, sometimes, (very/quite) often and occasionally can also be placed at the beginning of the sentence or clause:

Example: Occasionally we go out to the cinema, but usually we stay in and watch a video.


NOTE: always, rarely, seldom, hardly ever, and never can not be used in the same way.

C Variations

1. The present continuous + always is used to talk about things which occur frequently and which the speaker finds annoying:

Example: He is always complaining about something!

2. Adjectives can be used as an alternative to rarely, normally and (not) usually.

Example:It is rare/normal/(un)usual for him to eat meat.

3. Tend to + infinitive is used to make general statements about the habitual actions and situations of groups of people or individuals.

Example: British people tend to drink tea rather than coffee.

I tend not to get up very early on Sundays.

4. Will + infinitive is used to talk about habitual behavior. Frequency adverbs can also be added.

Example:She will sometimes spend the whole day reading.

5. Keep (on) + general used to talk about repeated actions, often annoying ones.

Example: Peter keeps on hitting me.

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One comment on “Habitual Behavior in the Present

  1. Lewis Dec 26,2012 12:42 am

    what is the word or term meaning extreme habitual actions

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