# Is “how every minutes” correct?

I am trying to say that a number X defines "how every minutes" the operation Y will take place.

That means, if the number X is 10, the operation Y will be performed every 10 minutes.

This is the actual context (it's a technical documentation):

`value="10": Sets how every minutes the operation will be performed`

• In addition to Matt's suggestion: Sets how often (in minutes) the operation will be performed. – Alan Carmack Aug 1 '16 at 13:25
• @AlanCarmack But of course! "how often". Couldn't be simpler! I wonder how i missed this?! Post it as an answer I'll accept it :D – Sharky Aug 1 '16 at 13:46
• To answer the question in the title: "how every minutes" is not correct, and readers will be confused if you say "how every minutes". – Tanner Swett Aug 2 '16 at 0:46

Sets how often (in minutes) the operation will be performed.

How often refers to frequency. See Oxford dictionary for often as in How often do you get your hair cut?, for example.

• Since "how often" asks for a frequency, I would wonder whether the writer meant to say "sets how often (per minute) the operation will be performed". I prefer Jon Petersons answer, because it avoids this ambiguity. – Sumyrda Aug 1 '16 at 19:20

Technically, the time between each instance of a recurring event is the period. This is closely related to frequency, but frequency is the number of times a recurring event happens in a fixed time period (a second, unless specified otherwise).

So:

``````value="10": Sets period in minutes between each repeat operation
``````

Would be ideal. You could also simply use the word 'time' instead of 'period', in the example above and that would be correct idiomatic English, but slightly less precise in a technical document.

The way you have it isn't quite correct. A better way to say it would be "Sets the frequency of the operation (in minutes)".

• that's not a frequency, that's a period. – njzk2 Aug 1 '16 at 17:36
• @njzk2 - True, if you're talking exact mathematical/scientific terminology. In everyday idiomatic use, Matt's answer is what I would expect to see. – AndyT Aug 2 '16 at 9:52
• Best not to use a term that has polar opposite meanings depending on how "exactly" you read it. – Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 2 '16 at 11:39

The value of 'X' sets the time, in minutes, between each operation 'Y'.

If 'X'=10, operation 'Y' will be performed every 10 minutes.

• Can you edit to clarify which of those first two sentences (or both?) you are suggesting for use? – Nathan Tuggy Aug 2 '16 at 3:30

## protected by Community♦Aug 2 '16 at 5:23

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