People frequently talk about their daily or weekly routines and schedules, especially with family or friends. They may do so just out of curiosity or because they want to plan for some event.

When talking about daily schedules and routines adverbs of frequency are used to indicate how frequently you do things. Look at these common adverbs of frequency.











all the time

most of the time



not at all

Everyone has some kind of schedule or daily routine. They get up at a certain time, eat at a certain time, go to work at a certain time. For some people, schedules are very fixed and regimented. For others, schedules may be very flexible and varying. Most people have things on their schedules that have to be done, no matter what- like go to work, feed the baby, or taking medicine. Sometimes these things happen daily, sometimes weekly, and sometimes less frequently. No matter when or how often things are done, there are several expressions that can be used to ask or talk about about schedules, routines, and expressing obligations. Look at the examples below.

English Expressions


Asking About Schedules    
What time (… do you go to work)?   I leave the house at 7:30.
When do ( … you usually do laundry)?   Usually on Saturday afternoons.
Where do ( … you exercise)?   I go to a gym in my neighbor.
Expressing Obligation    
I must go to ( … class this morning).   Why? Do you have a test?
He has to ( … be at work by 8:00 AM)   What happens if he is a little late?
I’m expected to ( … visit my  grandmother every

Sunday afternoon).

  Does she get upset if you don’t show up?
On Friday afternoons, I am supposed to  ( …

deposit the stores weekly sales income in the


  Will you get fired if you don’t?
All applicants are required to ( … have an eye

vision test before getting  a drivers license).       

  If your vision is poor, will they deny you a driver’s license? 
      ** Expected to and supposed to are primarily used to express intentions,

not absolutes. Use have to to express something definite.

Do you ever ( bowl).   Yeah, once in a blue moon.

English Dialogue

Students should work together in pairs and read the following dialogue, one student reading one part, the other student reading the other. Note the expressions used in the dialogue and the progression of the conversation. The dialogue can be used as a model to have similar conversations.


Claudia: What time do you usually wake up Bridgette?

Bridgette: Usually I’m up by 6:00, even on weekends.

Claudia: Why do you get up so early?

Bridgette: I always exercise for an hour before getting ready for work.

Claudia: When do you go to work?

Bridgette: I leave my house at 8:30 and arrive at the office a little before 9:00.

Claudia: When do you eat lunch?

Bridgette: It depends on my schedule, anywhere from 11:30 to 2:00.

Claudia: Where do you eat?

Bridgette: Usually at my desk, I’m too busy to take a full hour for lunch. I either bring my lunch from home or order

food and have it delivered.

Claudia: What time do you leave the office for the day?

Bridgette: I try to get out of there by 6:00, but sometimes I work until 6:30 or 7:00.

Claudia: What do you do after work?

Bridgette: I go home and cook dinner, feed my cat, and watch TV or listen to music until I go to bed. On

weekends I usually go out with friends.

Claudia: What time do you go to bed?

Bridgette: I go to bed by 10:30, but I read for at least a half an hour before I fall asleep.


After reading, close your book and tell your partner a summary of the dialogue. Then switch and have your partner tell his or her summary. Start like this: This dialogue is about two people talking about their daily routine. One person gets up at …This may seem silly, since you both already know what the dialogue is about, but the purpose is to practice using your English, not to give information or test your reading skills.  

Conversation Activities

1. Pair work- discussion

     Tell your partner what you daily schedule is like. Be specific and detailed. Discuss what you do from the time

you wake up until you go to bed, on weekdays and weekends.


2. Pair work-discussion

     Tell your partner some of the things that you have to do or are expected or supposed to do during the week.

Your partner should continue the conversation by asking questions about when, why, and what happens if

you do not do the thing.


3. Pair Work- discussion

     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 and, what time, where, how often, with who, cost, etc.


Swim in the ocean Go on double dates Write poetry
Go camping Study all night Ride a motorcycle
Sing karaoke Wake up late Argue with parents
Sky or scuba dive Ride the subway Go bowling
Watch foreign movies Play board games Lift weights
Cook pizza Buy expensive clothes  Ride a roller coaster
Knit Go to the zoo