HomeQ&Ahow many times or how often

how many times or how often

2
votes

Are "how many times" and "how often" interchangeable?

How often do you go to the cinema a month?

How many times do you go to the cinema a month?

How often have you gone to the cinema this month?

How many times have you gone to the cinema this month?

Are all these sentences correct?. Thank you in advance.

8068 views
updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by nila45
yes -all are correct.But In the USA it would be movies not cinema,so, How often do you go to the movies per month?...How many times do you go to the movies per month. - 00769608, DIC 20, 2009

14 Answers

1
vote

Grammatically not exact: How often do you go to the cinema a month? Better: How often do you go to the cinema per/every/each month?

Same problem as the above: How many times do you go to the cinema a month?

Logically not exact: How often have you gone to the cinema this month? "how often" should be used with simple present tense or simple past tense. If "how often have..." used, it seems that you ask the frequency with which he went to the cinema this month, and perhaps he would change the frequency in the rest of this month.

Right: How many times have you gone to the cinema this month?

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by SlowFoxtrot
posted by SlowFoxtrot
How often did you go go . is simple past not "have you gone" ........ - probably asked at the end of the month. - ian-hill, DIC 21, 2009
How often have you been to the cinema this month? (so far) asked at sometime part way through the month. - ian-hill, DIC 21, 2009
2
votes

It must just be my peculiarity, because everyone adopted the same syntax, but I would normally say:

How many times a month do you...?

How many times a week do you...?

and not,

How many times do you....a month?

How many times do you...a week?

Both sound natural to me, but for some reason I always use the first examples.

updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by 0074b507
Nothing wrong with that Quentin - English syntax can be flexible too. - ian-hill, DIC 21, 2009
humm... you have changed the order. I am happy to have asked the question. - nila45, DIC 21, 2009
I agree with Quentin. This sounds more "natural". - DR1960, DIC 21, 2009
1
vote

I think nearly everything has been said, but there is a difference;

"How often" requires a frequency as an answer; "x times in period y".

"How often do you drive the car?" "About 10 times a week."

"How many times" is an incomplete question without a period of some sort;

"How many times in a week do you drive a car?" "About 10".

"How many times have you ridden the Incredible Hulk?" "Five."

The period in the last one is implied and means your life up to the present!

updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by Jespa
1
vote

Another thought on this.

I would tend to use the phrase "How often...?" when asking about what a person normally does. For example, "How often do you (usually) go to the movies?" "I (usually) go about once a month". If I was asking about a specific period of time, however, I would ask "How many times...?" For example, "How many times did you go to the movies this month?" "I went 2 times this month."

Does this make sense?

updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by DR1960
Yes, it makes sense too. - nila45, DIC 21, 2009
1
vote

How many times a month do you...?

How many times a week do you...?

This was my first thought too, which shows that dunce corner guys think alikeraspberry

updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by 00494d19
1
vote

Nila

Question - "How often do you go to the cinema?" ("a month" is really superfluous)

Answer - "I go twice a month"

Both perfect.

Substitute "movies" for "cinema" in the USA. Substitute "flicks" apparently both in the USA and UK.

In case you are wondering "flicks" comes from the verb "to flicker" which refers to old movies that "flickered" (a bit like a faulty neon light)

Theatre is used (in the UK) for plays, operas and ballet.

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
Good answer. I was suspecting that something was wrong, but until this moment, I haven't realised of that. - nila45, DIC 21, 2009
1
vote

Hi Nila As you can see you are "spot on" again.

Another option is "How frequently do you go to the cinema?"

Also

How many times have you gone to the cinema this month?

I would probably say

"How many times have you been to the cinema this month?"

But I am nit-picking again.

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
1
vote

Hi Nila,

You are spot on with your observation that these phrases would be interchangeable here.

How often do you go to the cinema a month?

How many times do you go to the cinema a month?

I agree with Gus, however, that in the U.S. it is somewhat antiquated to use the word cinema - "movie" would be the word to go with. Here are a few other options that would also sound natural.

• How often/how many times do you go to the movies each (in a/per) month?

• How often/how many times in a (per) month do you go to the movies?

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
Iza - Antiquated !! Are you implying that we are antiquated because we say "cinema" - that is after all where we go and not to a place called "the movies" - ian-hill, DIC 20, 2009
0
votes

Thank you.

updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by nila45
0
votes

How interesting has become this thread!. I am taking a overall impression of this subject. I am learning more than I expected.

updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by nila45
0
votes

Question - "How often do you go to the cinema?" ("a month" is really superfluous)

Yes, in Spanish, it sounds strange: ¿con cuánta frecuencia vas al cine en un mes?.

Also, Quentin's example sounds similar to Spanish.

How many times a month do you...?

¿Cuántas veces al mes ....?

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
0
votes

Then, I was thinking.

I go to the cinema twice a month.

However, "twice a month = dos veces al mes" is correct. Don't you think?

"How often do you go to the cinema in a/per/each/every month?

Here, I see that you have changed the "a" by "in a", and by "per".

In Spanish, we would say:

¿Con cuánta frecuencia al mes vas al cine? al mes = a month "how often a month do you go to the cinema? After your answers, I suppose that this translation is not correct. You can explain it if you want.

¿Con cuánta frecuencia vas al cine en un mes? en un mes = in a month "how often do you go to the cinema in a month?"

¿Con cuánta frecuencia vas al cine cada mes? cada mes = each month "how often do you go to the cinema each month?

¿Con cúánta frecuencia vas al cine todos los meses? todos los meses = every month "how often do you go to the cinema every month?"

What I want to say is that, in English, "twice a month" sounds good and "how often .... a month" does not sounds good. Is that?

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
"Cinema" sounds more natural in Spanish. But I will take into account your answers too. - nila45, DIC 21, 2009
0
votes

Hi Ian,

Antiquated !! Are you implying that we are antiquated because we say "cinema" - that is after all where we go and not to a place called "the movies"

I had to laugh at this one...No, I am not implying that a person is antiquated for using the word cinema in all contexts. What I was trying to state was that the use of the word "cinema" when referring to the place where you go has been largely supplanted (in the U.S.) by the word "movies," which is often the abbreviated version of "movie theater." In the past, when my grandparents were young, they might have used the term cinema, but as I have stated it has largely come to a state of disuse when referring to a "movie-theater."

I believe (and feel free to correct me if I am wrong) that in the UK the word cinema is still a common word to use for the U.S. equivalent (movie theater). I would be interested in your take on this, as I believe that you probably have a better perspective of what might be more common to use in the UK.

updated DIC 20, 2009
posted by Izanoni1
In some parts of the United States the word to use is, "picture show". By the way,did anyone saw the movie,called" The Last Picture Show". - 00769608, DIC 20, 2009
My husband is English and exclusively refers to it as cinema too :) "Let's go to cinema." - 003487d6, DIC 20, 2009
Of course, sometimes,people might say, lets go see a "flick" meaning movie or motion picture.Language is fun, is it not? - 00769608, DIC 20, 2009
Yes...I've heard picture show and flick as well (although in some places, the use of the word "flick" is used exclusively to refer to an X-rated movie). - Izanoni1, DIC 20, 2009
0
votes

No ofense intented but per is not an English word,rather it is a French word.

Your sample,"the cinema per/every/each month?

Disclaimer, Although per is of french origen, I wrote the above as a joke. See my comment at the begining of this tread.

But In the USA it would be movies not cinema,so, How often do you go to the movies per month?

updated DIC 20, 2009
edited by 00769608
posted by 00769608
You´re etymologically right. :-) - SlowFoxtrot, DIC 20, 2009
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