Does an adverb of frequency usually occur after the verb? How should I say "how often do you play sports?"




  • What are you trying to say? I don't think I quite understand the intended meaning. Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 0:13
  • How often do you play sports?
    – user3399
    Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 0:48
  • 3
    "你多久运动一次?" means "How often do you play sports?" And "你运动多久一次?" means "How long does it last when you do sports for one time?" -- but only in spoken language, "你运动多久一次?" sounds a little ill-formed.
    – Stan
    Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 1:15

4 Answers 4


Actually a frequency adverb should be put before a verb. For example:

我(Wǒ)常(chánɡ)常(chánɡ)游(yóu)泳(yǒnɡ)。 ( I always swim.)

我(Wǒ)周(zhōu)末(mò)偶(ǒu)尔(ěr)去(qù)逛(ɡuànɡ)街(jiē)。( I go for shopping on weekends occasionally.)

And “ How often do you play sports ?” could be translated as: 你(Nǐ)多(duō)久(jiǔ)运(yùn)动(dònɡ)一(yí)次(cì)?( how often = 多(duō)久(jiǔ) )


The second one is correct to express "How often do you play sports?"

BTW, I would like to give a comment to @Stan, that "你一次运动多久?" is better to express "How long does it last when you do sports for one time?". It's weird to say "你运动多久一次?".

  • +1 grammatically perfect to say like "你一次运动多久?".
    – Stan
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 11:29

The second one is better (as the first is a little grammatically off):


Although there's not really a hard and fast rule around whether it should be before or after the verb; from what I understand it should be based on the rest of the sentence structure. For example, these both work:



Perhaps it's best said that it goes before if it's being used as a descriptor for something (as in 多久 __ 一次) but not if it's used on its own / as the "length of time / how long" noun (as in 一次 多久)

[[nb. i might be terribly wrong. so take with a grain of salt like everything else on the internet :P]]


多久 ... 一次 is another double-barrelled Chinese phrase, it neither goes before nor after, it goes around something else.

Mix it up with say, 跑步 and you will get a double split!

I think I prefer to ask:

How many times a week do you do sports?

多久 ... 一次 really means 'how long time between times when you X'

This room is outrageously filthy, how often do you clean it?

You how long between sport
How often do you do (some kind of) sport?

How often do you go to the park?

How often do you go running?

How often do you give the flowers water?

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