Both “oftentimes” and “often” mean something that happens with great frequency or that is a common occurrence. Both are adverbs, but when you separate “often” and “times,” the meaning slightly changes. This is because “times” becomes a noun or a verb, not an adverb.
The good news is that in most cases you will use “oftentimes” as an adverb. Very few instances will require a separation of “often” and “times.”
A beautiful and succinct way to say that something ensues quite regularly is “oftentimes.” Not only is it quick and to the point, but it also provides a little creativity to your writing or speech. Because “oftentimes” is an adverb, this will qualify the surrounding words to express a relationship with time.
Oftentimes, I find myself daydreaming when I see pundits speak on TV.
She oftentimes shouts when she sees her favorite football team losing.
Over-extracting coffee beans with hot water oftentimes leads to a bitter and acidic tasting cup.
Using “Often Times”
“Often” is also an adverb. But in this case, it will modify or qualify “time” as a noun or a verb. Even though you will use this phrase very rarely in English, it’s important to understand its use in a sentence.
He often times how long he runs in the morning. [verb]
Often, times change faster than people can keep up with, which means it’s not organic. [noun]
Correct versus Incorrect of “Oftentimes” and “Often Times”
For a more thorough evaluation of the differences between “oftentimes” and “often times,” study the samples below.
- Correct: When we go to the country, we oftentimes pass the restaurant with the big cow in front.
- Incorrect: When we go to the country, we often times pass the restaurant with the big cow in front.
- Correct: Oftentimes there are blockages to my plans.
- Incorrect: Often times there are blockages to my plans.
- Correct: Often, times of crisis bring about the best and worst in people.
- Incorrect: Oftentimes of crisis bring about the best and worst in people.
- Correct: She often times how long it takes to get home.
- Incorrect: She oftentimes how long it takes to get home.
“Often” and “oftentimes” are both adverbs that have similar meanings. But they change when “often and “times” are separate words. This is because “times” becomes a verb or a noun when detached from “often.”