Talking about routines occur when people are asking  about another person’s  daily or weekly schedules.  During these kinds of interactions, expressions of time will be used. Guest may sometimes ask hotel staff the general routine of the location they are visiting (for example when do local shops usually open and close, or the months of high or low season, or what time it gets dark and light outside, or the times that local people usually eat meals). When talking about daily schedules and routines adverbs of frequency are used to indicate how frequently you do things.

100% 80% 50% 20% 0%
always usually sometimes seldom never
all the time most of the time occasionally rarely not at all


Guest: What time do the local shops usually open?
Staff: They usually open between 9:00 and 10:00.
Guest: Do they usually open at the same time on Saturdays and Sundays as well?
Staff: Yes, most of the shops open at the same time on the weekends.

Guest: When do Thai people usually eat dinner?
Staff: Most people eat dinner between 6 and 7 PM.
Guest: Is lunch usually between noon and 1:00 PM or between 1:00 and 2:00.
Staff: Lunch is usually between noon and 1:00.

Guest: How often do they change movies at the local cinema?
Staff: Movies are usually changed once a week.
Guest: Do they show a lot of English language movies?

Staff: Many of the movies are the latest Hollywood block busters, which are captioned in Thai.

Guest: How many times a week does the hotel clean the pool?
Staff: The pool is cleaned every day, sometimes twice a day, depending on the circumstances.
Guest: What time are they usually cleaned.
Staff: Usually early in the morning, before the guests wake up.

Practice Activities for talking about routines
Remember that one of the best was to improve your English skills is to use the language over and over again. It may sound boring and tedious but it works to make the language readily accessible for use when needed.

1. Role Play

Practice asking asking about routines by role playing the situations below. One person take the role of a hotel guest and another a guest. Use some of the phrases and expressions above. For additional practice switch roles.

2. Pair Work

Using the adverbs of frequency above, tell your partner what your daily schedule is like. Be specific and detailed. Discuss what you do from the time you wake up until you go to bed, both during the week and on weekends (or your days off).

3. Pair Work

Do you ever play tennis? Ask your partner if they ever do any of the activities listed below. Ask other questions to get more information about when, where, how often, with who, cost, etc.

Swim in the ocean go on double dates write poetry
study all night ride a motorcycle go camping
sing karaoke. wake up late cook pizza
sky or scuba diving ride the subway go bowling
watch foreign films play board games lift weights
argue with parents buy expensive cloths knit
ride a roller coaster go to the theater go to the zoo

Other Links

Telling Time
Dates & Months
Days and Time