X rarely goes to Y


X frequently goes to Y

What would be a word in between the two? A formal word for 'sometimes' maybe?


Atheists sometimes appeal to Nietzsche's writing and use it to argue that he was against the idea of a God in general.

I need a formal word for sometimes. Frequently wouldn't be a good choice. Rarely wouldn't be either.

  • Knowing the context would be useful. Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 21:17
  • Just from the top of my head: seldom , infrequently , hardly, scarcely. Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 21:25
  • Can you please provide an example sentence?
    – Lumberjack
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 21:41
  • @michael.hor257k edited
    – o-az
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 21:41
  • 1
    It is specific enough hence I got answers including the one I'm looking for. Be light.
    – o-az
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 7:40

2 Answers 2


As I mentioned in a comment, this depends on the context. In a formal setting I might say:

X periodically goes to Y


1 From time to time; occasionally.
‘I will periodically check on your progress’
‘the students received help from a friend only periodically’

Now that you have updated the context, I would suggest:


  1. usually; ordinarily.

Atheists regularly appeal to Nietzsche's writing and use it to argue that he was against the idea of a God in general.

If that seems too frequent for your needs, consider:

from time to time
Occasionally, once in a while. For example, From time to time we play bridge with the Carters.


at times
sometimes; occasionally. I feel quite sad at times. At times, I wish I had never come here.

  • 2
    I would also suggest "occasionally" as a good choice. After all, 3/4 of the definitions included in this answer offer it as a synonym!
    – endemic
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 23:00

I don't know that it's any more "formal" than sometimes (but then, I don't regard sometimes as being particularly informal to begin with), but a longer word for sometimes is occasionally:


    : on occasion : now and then
    //dines out occasionally
    //We occasionally see deer in the field.


    At infrequent or irregular intervals; now and then.
    ‘ very occasionally the condition can result in death’
    ‘ he met her occasionally for coffee’

American Heritage Dictionary:

    Now and then; from time to time.

Collins English Dictionary:

    from time to time

Macmillan Dictionary:

    sometimes, but not frequently or regularly
    Simmer the sauce for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
    We go to the theater only very occasionally (=not often).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.