5 Essential Mandarin Frequency Adverbs – Beginner Chinese

Continuing our series on basic Chinese in this post we’ll be looking at frequency adverbs. There are essential for being able to describe how often you do something, or the frequency that something occurs.

Always - Essential Mandarin Frequency Verbs

Always

If you need to express that something always happens then this is the word to use.

總是(总是)

Pinyin: zǒng shì
English: always

Example Usage

Traditional
總是工作遲到

Simplified
总是工作迟到

Pinyin
zǒngshì gōngzuò chídào

English
He’s always late for work

Usually

If you usually do something, but not often enough to make it something you always do, then this word will be more suitable.

常常(常常)

Pinyin: cháng cháng
English: usually; often

Example Usage

Traditional
常常吃麵

Simplified
常常吃面

Pinyin
chángcháng chī miàn

English
I often eat noodles

Sometimes

If you sometimes do something, but don’t make a habit out of it then use this phrase.

有時候(有时候)

Pinyin: yǒu shí hòu
English: sometimes

Example Usage

Traditional
有時候喜歡喝杯紅酒

Simplified
有时候喜欢喝杯红酒

Pinyin
yǒushíhòu xǐhuān hē bēi hóngjiŭ

English
She sometimes enjoys drinking a glass of red wine

Occasionally

This word is for using when describing those things that only do on occasion.

偶爾(偶尔)

Pinyin: ǒu ěr
English: occasionaly

Example Usage

Traditional
偶爾去電影院看電影

Simplified
偶尔去电影院看电影

Pinyin
ǒuěr qù diànyǐngyuàn kàn diànyǐng

English
I occasionally go to the cinema to watch films

Rarely

Lastly, use this word to express that you rarely do something.

很少(很少)

Pinyin: hěn shǎo
English: rarely

Example Usage

Traditional
很少看電視

Simplified
很少看电视

Pinyin
hěnshǎo kàn diànshì

English
I rarely watch telelvision

Keep your eyes peeled for more beginner lessons and useful words and phrases soon!

  • I didn’t know that 迟到 can be used like this. Also 偶尔 was new to me. Thank you!

    • 偶尔 is a good one, very useful for answering questions if you want to be a bit vague 🙂

  • Charlotte

    Awesome! Thank you!

  • Where is that picture from?

  • Bekka

    我常常听到“偶尔”和“迟到” 可是我以前不知道怎么用。 谢谢你!

  • edgar rodriguez

    I going to learn chinesse. Thanks for this chinesse page