In this post I would like to introduce a very useful set of words; namely adverbs of frequency (頻度を表す副詞).
Here is a list of the most common adverbs of frequency in English:
100% Always (いつも)
↓ Usually (普段)
↓ Often (よくする)
↓ Sometimes (時々)
↓ Occasionally (たまに)
↓ Hardly ever (めったにしない)
0% Never (全然しない)
These words are especially useful for talking about your lifestyle or everyday routine (日常生活). For example:
I always wake up at 6am.
I usually have rice for breakfast.
I often go shopping after work.
I sometimes watch a movie at the weekend.
I occasionally go on a trip with my family.
I hardly ever drink coffee.
I never eat cheese.
When you want to ask someone about their lifestyle or routine you can use the question, “How often do you _ ?” (どのくらいの頻度でしますか?). For example, “How often do you exercise?”
Note 1: you have to be careful with the phrase hardly ever. In English this is grammatically positive (肯定文), but in Japanese it would be translated as a negative phrase (否定文):
I hardly ever drink coffee → コーヒーはめったに飲まない。
Note 2: You also have to be careful with word order (語順). Adverbs usually come after the verb (動詞の後) in English (for example – “I walk slowly“), but these adverbs of frequency usually come before the verb (動詞の前).