"Usually" versus "More often than not"


Please see below:

1- I usually take a cup of milk before I sleep.
2- I, more often than not, take a cup of milk before I sleep.
3- I take a cup of milk before I sleep almost daily.

Are these three different ways of saying the same thing? Please shed some light on [color=red]more often than not in particular.


Hi Tom

More often than not should start the sentence:

2- More often than not, I [color=red]have a cup of milk before I go to sleep/go to bed.

(I’m not sure whether you can use take instead of have in British English, but have would definitely be the best word in American English.)

Your other two sentences mean roughly the same thing. As you know, adverbs of frequency are approximations and not precise.

More often than not is similar to “usually” (maybe a just a little bit less than usually). :wink:


Hi Tom, Amy,

The same applies in British English: “have” rather than “take”.

In literary-sounding English (which is what Indian and Pakistani English often sound like), it’s possible to say you take a cup of milk before bed. You can especially say this if you think of the milk as somehow beneficial to your health. I believe this is true both in America and in Great Britain. People sometimes say they take a glass of wine after work, with dinner, or before bed. You would never say, however, that you take a beer or a Coke.