How often in IELTS speaking

Posted by on June 6th, 2018 | 0 comments | adverbs, EAP, IELTS, speaking

Examiner: How often do you go to the cinema?
Candidate: Er.. Sometimes.
Examiner: Yes, but how often?

Although it is grammatically correct to respond to the question ‘How often?’ with ‘sometimes’, you still haven’t answered the question. Always try to give more information no matter how infrequently you do something.

After ‘How often’ try to respond with a number + times + and a period:

  • Three times a week.
  • = Quite often.
  • Four times a year.
  • = Not very often.
  • Once every 10 years.
  • = Hardly ever. (‘once’ = 1 time)

Adverbs of frequency – sometimes, always, seldom, etc – are more common in response to the question ‘Do/Are you ever?’:

  • Examiner: Do you ever feel lonely?
  • Candidate: Sometimes.
  • Examiner: Are you ever bored in your job?
  • Candidate: Rarely.

But even in these situations it’s a good idea to give additional information. Why only ‘sometimes’? Why ‘rarely’? etc.


Would anybody like to try and complete the question from this post’s featured image? How often..? (Add your questions to the comments below this post)

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