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Jini
Comprehensive questions Hi, everyone. Is there anything different between"once in a while", "from time to time" and "sometimes"? Thanks in advance
Aug 9, 2019 2:23 PM
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Answers · 7
Not particularly. First, though, I'd like to say "sometime" is not the word you're looking for. You need the s: "sometimes". "Once in a while" and "from time to time" do imply something is more rare than "sometimes". But they generally mean the same thing. "From time to time" may also be more formal or "writerly" than "once in a while", if only because of some of the uses throughout history: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." is a sentence in the United States Constitution that references the "State of the Union" address: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_the_Union The average speaker doesn't use "from time to time" very often. They can, and sometimes do, but it's more common to reach for "once in a while". "Sometimes" is more common still.
August 9, 2019
I hear all three used to describe the same things. In some places, they will have slightly different nuances, but you would have to learn that in each place. Where I am from, all three are acceptable, with sometimes being the most common. Overusing "once in a while" or "from time to time" would sound awkward.
August 9, 2019
I hear all three used to describe the same things. In some places, they will have slightly different nuances, but you would have to learn that in each place. Where I am from, all three are acceptable, with sometimes being the most common. Overusing "once in a while" or "from time to time" would sound awkward.
August 9, 2019
Jini
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Hakka), Chinese (Taiwanese), English, French, Russian
Learning Language
English, Russian