Talking About Routines
It’s commonplace in the American culture for one to talk about routines or a typical day or week. This topic of conversation is a great way to make small talk and also get to know someone. A routine is a habitual or ongoing task or chores completed regularly. We can describe these ‘routines’ by using adverbs of frequency and infrequency like, ‘always’, ‘usually’, ‘sometimes’, and so on.
Adverbs of Frequency:
Adverbs of Infrequency:
from time to time
every now and then
once in a blue moon
Now let’s take a look at how to use the frequency and infrequency adverbs listed above in a basic English conversation.
Lilly and Jill are studying for a math test…
Lilly: I am so tired, Jill. I have had three tests this well and I will have one more next week and two essays that I am still researching. I am so behind…
Jill: That is hectic. My schedule is no different, but that’s just university life. However, keep in mind that that’s a typical week for most university student.
Lilly: That’s true! Out of curiosity… What’s a typical day like for you?
Jill: A typical day… Let me think. Hmmmm… Well, a routine day for me begins at 7:00AM. I always get up at 7:00 am and brush my teeth then shower immediately afterwards. After that, I usually eat breakfast at 7:30 am, then get dressed for work. I am generally out of my house by 8 am, because my first lecture begins at 8:30 am and it takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to arrive at school by bus. The first lecture goes until 9:30 am and the second begins at 10:00 am and goes until noon, and it goes like that until 3:00 pm.
Lilly: Wow… That’s quite a busy school day!
Jill: I know. Then we always meet at the library and study until 5:00PM. I typically arrive home at 5:00PM and then eat dinner at 6:00 sometimes 6:30PM. My parents and I usually sit down around 7:00PM and watch television, play a game and catch up on our day. Finally, I take another shower, brush my teeth and head to bed by 8:30PM. That’s a typical day for me!
Lilly: And it starts all over again. A routine school day for me is not very different, however, I am not usually up until 8 am and I always arrive at school by 9:25 am, just in time for my 9:30 am lecture. My lectures also go until 3:00 pm and I we usually meet in the library and study until 5:00 pm together. However, after I leave the library I usually go to my part-time job downstairs in the school bookstore until 8:00 pm and I am usually in my dorm around 8:15 pm. Then I microwave some frozen food. Finally, I take a shower, brush my teeth and then hit the hay; typically around 10:00 pm.
Jill: I have come to realize that we need more fun in our lives. (Laughs).
Lilly: I second that! I never have any fun during the school year… (Laughs).
Verbs used to describe your daily routine.
brush my hair
wash my hair
take a shower
drive to work
go for a walk
go shopping for grocery
Use the dialog and vocabulary above as a guide to answer the questions below.
What’s your daily routine?
What’s a typical day like for you?
What’s a typical weekend like?
What’s your work schedule like?
What’is your high school/university schedule this year?
When do you leave home?
What time do you usually get home?
Great job today!