The phrases “ever so often” and “every so often” are spelled almost identically (besides one extra “Y”). However, the meanings are different, and it would help you to understand what those meanings are. This article will look into the two phrases and how to use them.
Is It “Ever So Often” Or “Every So Often”?
“Ever so often” is an old-fashioned phrase that we use to indicate a degree of how often something occurs (i.e., “we visit my grandparents ever so often”). We use “every so often” to talk about something that happens now and then or occasionally.
“Ever so” is the first portion of the phrase that we want to focus on. It’s notably an archaic phrase that means we are talking about something to a more serious degree. That means including “often” after it means something happens a lot because the degree of “often” is larger than normal.
We don’t always have to use “often” either:
- I love you ever so much.
- I care ever so deeply!
“Every so often” is much more common in modern speech and writing. We use it to talk about something that happens occasionally and infrequently but still is guaranteed to happen.
“Every” usually means “every possible instance,” but including “so often” means that we’re saying “every now and then,” meaning something does happen here and there, but there’s no specific time when it might occur.
Is “Ever So Often” Or “Every So Often” Used The Most?
To help you understand the popularity of the two, we’ve got some statistics to show you.
According to this graph, “every so often” is the most popular choice and has grown exponentially over the last two decades. “Ever so often” has never been popular, but it was more popular than “every so often” before the 1900s.
This graph demonstrates exactly what we’ve already mentioned. The phrases starting with “ever so” are old-fashioned. Not many English speakers use them today, which is why they’ve dropped off in popularity.
Still, “ever so often” was never much of a popular phrase to use compared to other “ever so” phrases. You can see from this graph, which compares it to “ever so much” that “ever so often” simply didn’t get used all that much in its lifetime.
Is “Ever So” Grammatically Correct?
The phrases that start with “ever so” aren’t used today. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not correct. It’s still possible to use them in most cases.
“Ever so” is grammatically correct when you want to talk about the degree by which something is (or isn’t). We use an adjective or an adverb after it to demonstrate the degree of the thing we’re talking about.
- Ever so much
- Ever so little
- Ever so large
- Ever so nice
- Ever so brave
- Ever so naughty
As you can see, there are plenty of “ever so” variations. We simply change the adjective or adverb in question to make it work. “Ever so” is like saying “the most” or “more than that.” It’s both a comparative and superlative phrase depending on the context.
Examples Of How To Use “Ever So Often” In A Sentence
To help you understand when “ever so often” gets used, we’ll include some examples. We find that these are the easiest ways for you to understand when words and phrases get included.
“Ever so often” is rarely used today. You won’t find many native speakers using it in any manner, so it’s not likely you’ll need to use it yourself. Still, these examples show you when it’s most opportune to do so.
- I visit him ever so often to make sure he’s okay.
- We go there ever so often! I’m surprised we’re not on their wall of loyal customers!
- He sees me ever so often! I’m so thankful for how supportive he is.
- They go ever so often to the restaurant, though I’m sure the staff hates them!
- You aggravate me ever so often; I don’t even know why we’re friends.
As you can see, “ever so often” talks about something that happens a lot. It refers to a situation that happens more than the normal or expected amount, which can be both a positive and negative thing depending on the context.
Examples Of How To Use “Every So Often” In A Sentence
“Every so often” is the more popular phrase of the two. For that reason, we think it’s important you pay attention to the following examples so you can understand how best to write them when it comes up.
“Every so often” means that something occasionally happens, but not all the time.
- I go there every so often when I can afford the prices.
- We like to visit every so often, but we don’t want to bore them with our repetitive stories.
- He sees me every so often. I just wish he came over more.
- You mention it every so often, and I feel like you’re not over it!
- They need to come here every so often to make sure nothing changes.
“Every so often” works in a similar way to “ever so often,” but the subtle spelling difference makes all the important changes.
Ever So Often – Synonyms
Since “ever so often” isn’t common to use today, we thought it made more sense to include synonyms for it. These are much better choices for you to use today.
- All the time
- A lot
- Many times
“Ever so often” refers to something that happens a lot of the time. All of the above synonyms work really well to demonstrate that.
Every So Often – Synonyms
“Every so often” is the opposite of “ever so often,” yet we still use it today. We’ll still include some synonyms so you can see which alternatives work best if you want to write them down.
- Once in a while
- Now and then
- From time to time
- Now and again
“Every so often” is almost the opposite to “ever so often.” It means something doesn’t happen as often as someone would like it to.