Adverbs of frequency
In this lesson you will learn how to express how often you do an activity and see typical sentences about describing daily routines. Together with what we covered in reflexive verbs and telling the time sections, this lesson will help you describe a typical day of yours.
¿Qué haces todos los días? (What do you do every day?)
Let us answer this question
- Todos los días hago deporte (I do sport every day)
- Todos los días hago yoga (I do yoga every day)
The verb hacer which means to make or to do is very common in Spanish and has variety of applications. We will cover its use in talking about weather conditions in lesson review of basic Spanish verbs.
Note that “todos los días” is a fixed expression that means every day. As in English, you don’t need any preposition to use with it. Another example would be
¿Qué haces los días de trabajo? (What do you do on working days?)
Let us change our example question slightly.
¿Qué haces los domingos?
Los domingos como con la familia (I eat with my family on Sundays)
You can extend the example sentence to any day of the week. Hence , if you would like to say “on Mondays”, “on Tuesdays”, “on Wednesdays” etc. you need to use the definite plural article “los” (recall that in Spanish, days are masculine), only saying the names of the day is not enough and you don’t use any preposition. For example;
- Los viernes ceno con amigos (On Fridays I have dinner with my friends)
To explain how often you do an activity there are other adverbs of frequency that you can make use of. For instance
- Una vez a la semana (once in a week) ceno con amigos
- Dos veces al mes (two times in a month) ceno con amigos
As it is clear from the example sentences, “vez” shows how many times you do an activity.
Remember the rules for the formation of plural nouns in Spanish. Since “vez” ends in “z”, its plural is formed by changing z to c and adding “-es”. That’s why you can say two times as ”dos veces“ , three times as “tres veces” and so on.
Also note that “vez” is used together with the preposition “a”, i.e. “a la semana” is in a week and “al mes” is in a month. Recall that whenever the preposition “a” is followed by the definite masculine article “el”, it is contracted as “al”.
You will encounter many expressions with “vez” whenever you are involved in conversations related to how often activities are done. For example the phrases “a veces” means sometimes.
- A veces voy al teatro (I go to theater sometimes)
One can use vez to ask how many times something is done.
- ¿Cuántas veces al mes haces deporte? (How many times/how often in a month do you tribe sport?)
In the vocabulary section, you may find other expressions used with “vez”.
To say “often” you can use “a menudo”:
- A menudo voy a clase de español (I go to Spanish classes very often)
Talking about daily habits
While talking about daily routines, the following adverbs are very useful.
- Primero (first)
- Despúes (after that)
- Más tarde (later on)
- Luego (after that)
- Por ultimo (as last)
Let us see their uses in examples:
Por la mañana primero voy al lavabo. (In the morning, I first go to the toilette)
Despúes me duscho y hago la cama (After that I make my bed)
Más tarde me visto y me peino. (Later on I get dressed and comb myself)
Luego desayuno y me lavo los dientes. Por ultimo leo el periódico. (After that I have breakfast and brush my teethes)
Most of the verbs which we use to explain our daily routines are reflexive verbs.
- Todos los días me despierto a las siete menos cuarto. Luego me ducho y me visto. A las siete y cuarto desayuno. Luego me lavo los dientes. A las siete y media voy al trabajo en autobús. Empieza a trabajar a las ocho. Termino de trabajar a las seis.
Another important thing you should learn in this context is the use of the verb soler. When soler is used together with the infinitive of another verb, it means that the activity which the second verb describe, is done normally or generally. In other words,
Soler + VERBO infinitivo : normalmente
Soler is a stem-changing verb, which follows the o->ue rule Hence, its present tense conjugation reads
suelo, sueles, suele, solemos, soleis, suelen
Suelo hablar español con mis amigos (I normally speak Spanish with my friends)
Suelo ir a clase de ingles los jueves (I go to English class on Fridays normally)
Adverbs of frequency
todos los dias every day
a veces sometimes
a menudo often
una vez al mes once in a month
una vez a la semana once in a week
Other expressions with vez
algunas veces at times
muchas veces often
pocas veces seldom
repetidas veces over and over again
contadas veces seldom
por última vez for the last time
por primera vez for the first time
a la vez at the same time
Verbs to talk about daily habits
Despertarse to wake up
Levantarse to get up
Ir al lavabo to go to the toilette
Ducharse to have a shower
Lavarse to wash oneself
Planchar la ropa to iron the dresses
Maquillarse to make up
Afeitarse to shave
Secarse el pelo to dry the hair
Vestirse to get dressed
Peinarse to comb oneself
Desayunar to have breakfast
Estudiar to study
Volver to turn
Cenar to have dinner
Comer to eat
Merendar to have snack
Salir to go out
Acostarse to go to bed
Dormirse to sleep
hacer deporte to do sport
trabajar to work
beber cerveza to drink beer
salir a cenar con los amigos to go out for dinner with friends
salir de noche to go out at night
ir de compras to go to shopping
cocinar to cook
jugar a cartas to play cards
ir a partidos de fútbol to go to a football match
organizar fiestas en casa to organize parties at home
ver la tele to watch television