# 1. What is frequency?

Frequency tells us how often something is done.

There are various structures to describe frequency. Two of these are:

- (x times) a (time period)
- (x times) every (y time periods)

# 2. (x times) a (time period)

One of the easiest ways to talk about frequency is the pattern:

- (x times) a (time period)

‘a’ = one

So ‘three times a day’ = three times in one day

**Special words for ‘one time’ and ‘two times’**

There are special words for ‘one time’ and ‘two times’:

one time = once

two times = twice

x times | a | time period | sample sentence |
---|---|---|---|

one time / once | a | day | I call my parents once a day. |

two times / twice | a | week | Petra goes to the cinema twice a week. |

three times | a | month | The model club meets three times a month. |

four times | a | year | Exams are held four times a year. |

# 3. Examples using (x times) a (time period)

I have a birthday once a year. | Michelle calls her mum twice a week. |

Dave and I go to the pub three times a week. | Louisa has work three afternoons a week. |

The company has a general meeting four times a year. | Byron changes his car once a decade. |

# 4. (x times) every (y time periods)

If you want to talk about more than one time period (e.g. 2 days, 4 weeks, or 5 months), change ‘a’ to ‘every’:

- (x times) every (y time periods)

x times | every | y time periods |
---|---|---|

one time / once | every | 2 days |

two times / twice | every | 4 weeks |

three times | every | 9 months |

four times | every | 10 years |

*Note: In this pattern you can drop the words ‘one time’ or ‘once’:I go to the park once every 2 weeks = I go to the park every 2 weeks.*

# 5. Examples using (x times) every (y time periods)

The Olympics are once every four years. | When cooking the turkey, baste it once every 30 minutes. |

The school has an activity day once every 3 months. | James seems to have a new girlfriend every six months. |

We talk on the phone three or four times every two weeks. | The instructions say you should take this medicine three times every five days. |

# 6. Comparing the patterns

(x times) a (time period) | (x times) every (time periods) |
---|---|

I brush my teeth twice a day. (= two times in one day) | I wash my clothes once every three days. (= one time in three days) |

Alan goes to school five times a week. (= five times in one week) | Alan has an exam once every three months. (= one time in three months) |

We go to the cinema once a month. (= one time in one month) | We meet twice every three weeks. (= two times in three weeks) |

Luke and Hassam go on holiday three times a year. (= three times in one year) | Luke and Hassam get paid twice every six months. (= two times in six months) |

I get a haircut once a month. (= one time in one month) | My girlfriend gets a haircut once every two weeks. (= one time in two weeks) |