Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time are those words which tell us about the time of any action that takes place in the Past, Present or Future.In other words, Adverbs of Time tell us how long, how often and when.

Examples

We are going to church on Sunday for prayer.
She is going to have a baby soon.
My father went to Chile last year for a vacation.
We eventually went to a pub after eating.
He has already been to Canada three times.
I go to movies often with my boyfriend.

Generally, I don’t like to eat spicy food.

Order of Adverbs of Time

We can use more than one adverb of time in a sentence. However, we should always keep them in order by putting the time duration at first followed by frequency and exact time. 

Examples

  • He was in Thailand for two months last year.
    Two months - time duration comes first
    Last year – exact time comes second as frequency is not given 
  • My grandmother comes to visit me three days every month since last two years.
    three days – time duration comes first
    Every month – Frequency comes second
    Last two years – exact time comes third

Types of Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time can be divided into two categories:

  • Definite Adverbs of time
  • Indefinite Adverbs of time:

Definite Adverbs of Time

Those adverbs which give us exact period/time are called Definite Adverbs of time. Speakers tend to use Definite Adverbs of time when they have details about the precise time of occurrence of any action.

Examples

Today, now, tonight, yesterday, monthly, quarterly, nightly, weekly, hourly

Use of Definite Adverbs of time in sentences

  • The Spy went inside the dungeon to catch the dangerous murderer yesterday.
  • Tonight I am eating Chinese food from the new restaurant.
  • They saw a ghost today at the park.

Indefinite Adverbs of Time

Those adverbs of time which do not give us exact but approximate period/time are called Indefinite Adverbs of Time.

Examples

Sometimes, regularly, seldom, usually, rarely, eventually, finally, before, formerly, already

Use of Indefinite Adverbs of time in sentences

  • My mother seldom gets angry at us.
  • He will clean his room regularly from now onwards.
  • Finally, I have passed my science exam this year.

Always Remember

We should never use Prepositions with time expressions.

Examples:
at coming week(Incorrect).
next week (Correct).

in today evening (Incorrect). 
today evening (Correct)

However we can use Prepositional phrases as Adverbials of time. Examples: at dinner, in the afternoon, at Christmas