Some people love routines, but others hate the idea of doing the same things every single day. Can you talk about your daily routine in English? It’s really important that you can communicate about this using different verb tenses, especially present simple. This article teaches you how to use English phrases and verbs that help you communicate about your daily routine in English. Plus, we will learn about the concepts of ‘early bird’ and ‘night owl’. Finally, we will review how to form sentences in the present simple tense in English and how to use the adverbs of frequency. Keep reading!  

The present simple tense

This is the first tense we learn when we start studying English. The present simple is used to talk about repeated actions (I brush my teeth every morning), scheduled events (The bus leaves the bus station at 6 am, from Monday to Friday), and things that are always true (The Earth orbits the Sun). 

In order to form affirmative sentences in the present simple tense, we use the base form of the verbs (except with the verb to be, which we explain down below). The only change is when forming sentences in the third person. We add -s to the verb with sentences with the pronouns he, she, and it. Take a look at these present tense examples:

Affirmative sentences

Singular subjectsPlural subjects
I sleep early.We sleep early.
You sleep early.You (all) sleep early.
He sleeps early
She sleeps early
It sleeps early.
They sleep early
daily routine in English, simple present tense, adverbs of frequency
She likes to sleep.

When creating negative sentences and questions, we will use the auxiliary verbs do and does. The main verb does not change. 

Negative sentences

Singular subjectsPlural subjects
I don’t drive.
I do not drive.
We don’t drive.
We do not drive.
You don’t drive.
You do not drive.
You (all) don’t drive.
You (all) do not drive.
He doesn’t drive.
She doesn’t drive.
It doesn’t drive.
He does not drive.
She does not drive.
It does not drive.
They don’t drive.
They do not drive.

Questions

Forming questions in the present simple tense is easy. Just remember to use an auxiliary verb like do or does with your question.

Singular subjectsPlural subjects
Do I drive?Do we drive?
Do you drive?Do you (all) drive?
Does he drive?
Does she drive?
Does it drive?
Do they drive?

Using the verb to be in the present simple

The present simple can also be formed with the verb to be. In this case, we would use the following structure:

Singular subjectsPlural subjects
I am here.We are here.
You are here.You (all) are here.
He is here.
She is here.
It is here..
They are early

The negative is formed by adding not to the sentence. We can also use the contracted form.

Singular subjectsPlural subjects
I am not here.
I’m not here.
We are not here.
We aren’t here.
We’re not
here.
You are not here.
You aren’t here.

You’re not here.
You (all) are not here.
You aren’t here.
You’re not
here.
He is not here.
She is not here.
It
is not here.
He isn’t here.
She isn’t here.
It isn’t here.
He’s not here.
She’s not
here.
It’s not
here.
They are not here.
They aren’t here.
They’re not
here.

To make questions, we bring the main verb to be to the front.

Singular subjectsPlural subjects
Am I here?Are we here?
Are you here?Are you (all) here?
Is he here?
Is she here?
Is it here?
Are they here?

 

Adverbs of frequency

When talking about your daily routine in English, it is common to use adverbs of frequency. We use them before the verb to express how often we do something. Some examples of adverbs of frequency are: always, usually, normally/generally, often, sometimes, occasionally, hardly ever/rarely, and never. 

There are two exceptions when it comes to the position of the adverb of frequency in a sentence. When using the verb to be, the adverb must come after the verb. One example is “Judy is always late to work”. The second exception is related to the position of the adverbs sometimes and occasionally. Unlike the others, they can go in the front, middle, or end position of a sentence.

  • Sometimes, she drives to school.
  • She sometimes drives to school.
  • She drives to school sometimes

The table below shows the adverbs of frequency list and examples of sentences about daily routine using the adverbs of frequency.

FrequencyAdverbAdverb of frequency sentences
100%alwaysI always have lunch at home.
90%usuallyI usually go to the gym on Mondays.
80%normally/generallyI normally do my homework before dinner.
70%oftenShe is often late to work.
50%sometimesSometimes, he walks the dog OR He walks the dog sometimes OR He sometimes walks the dog.
30%occasionallyOccasionally, they visit their grandma OR They visit their grandma occasionally OR They occasionally visit their grandma.
5%hardly ever/rarelyI hardly ever go to the movies.
0%neverShe never goes to the beach.

Watch this video to learn more aboud adverbs of frequency.

Daily routine: in the morning

Let’s take a look at the basic activities people do in the morning. Which ones apply to your daily life? What is your daily routine? Take a look at some daily routine sentences:

I wake up at 6 am.I drink a cup of coffee/tea.I take a taxi/an Uber/the bus/the subway/the tram.
I press the snooze button twice before I turn my alarm off.I read the newspaper.My mom/dad/husband/wife gives me a ride to work/school.
I get up around 6:30 am.I check my social media.I answer my emails.
I make my bed.I check my emails.I attend meetings.
I take a shower. I walk my dog. I have a snack around 10 am.
I get dressed.I go to the gym.I have lunch at home/at the cafeteria/on the go.
I do my hair and makeup.I go to work/school.I go home and make lunch.
I brush my teeth.I work from home.I wash/do the dishes.
I make breakfast. I wait for the bus.I put the dishes away.
I eat/have breakfast.I drive to work/school.I take a nap after lunch.

Read about the daily routine of a student: Joanna’s morning routine

Here is one way to describe your daily routine using simple present tense:

Hi! My name is Joanna, I’m 24 and I live in Oslo, Norway. I usually wake up at 7 am, but I get up only half an hour later. Then, I take a shower and get dressed. After that I do my hair and makeup and then make my bed. I hate making my bed, but I like the feeling of completing that first task right after waking up. I don’t have breakfast, but I always drink a cup of coffee. Then I wait for the bus to take me to college. While I’m on the bus, I check my social media and my emails. 

Let’s practice writing about our own routine. Write a my daily routine paragraph in English. You should aim to write 10 sentences about your daily routine, okay?

In your text, you can also mention if you are a morning person or not. A morning person is someone who likes doing things in the morning, someone who is more productive in the first hours of the day rather than in any other time of the day. Other expressions for morning person are early bird and early riser. If that’s not your case, maybe you are a night owl. We use this expression to refer to someone who likes to do things or is more productive at night. If you are not sure if you are a morning person or a night owl, take this quiz.

Daily routine: in the evening

Let’s take a look at basic activities people do in the evening. Which ones apply to your daily life? Take a look at some daily routine phrases:

I buy groceries after work.I brush my teeth.I take off my makeup.
I get home from work/college/school at 5 pm.I put on my pajamas.I set the alarm clock.
I clean up the house. I plan the next day.I charge my phone.
I make dinner.I check the weather.I put my phone away.
I order dinner. I watch Netflix.I meditate.
I take out the trash after dinner. I listen to music.I turn off the lights.
I feed my dog/cat.I read a book before bed.I go to bed.
I take my medication. I lock the doors.I fall asleep.
I take a warm bath.I tuck my kids in. I sleepwalk.

Exercise: Brandon’s evening routine

Hi! My name is Brandon, I’m 36 and I live in San Francisco. I work as a marketing director. I’m married and I have one son, Charlie, and two cats. I usually finish work around 6 pm. Then, I go to the supermarket to buy groceries. I get home around 7 pm and then I make dinner. My wife loves pasta, so that’s something I make quite often. After having dinner, I wash the dishes and my wife feeds our cats, Milk, and Honey. Then, I take a shower. After that, I brush my teeth and put on my pajamas. I usually watch an episode of my favorite sitcom before bed. Then, I check the locks of the house, set my alarm clock, and put my phone away to charge. I tuck my son in and then I go to bed. I fall asleep shortly after my wife turns off the lights. 

Now, write 10 lines using some of my daily routine sentences. What do you do? Do you plan the next day? Do you meditate? Tell us more in the comment section below.

You can read more about jobs and occupations here. I’m sure this can be helpful when writing about your routine!

Now you are ready to talk about your daily routine in English. Remember to study the rules for forming the present simple tense and use the adverbs of frequency to give more details about your routine. You should be ready to write some daily routine sentences in English now. Happy studying!