“You need to floss, preferably every day, but every other day at the bare minimum.”

English Lesson: You need to floss, preferably every day, but every other day at the bare minimum.

You work at a dentist's office. One of the patients has problems because he doesn't floss enough. You tell him how often he should do it.

You need to floss, preferably every day, but every other day at the bare minimum.

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preferably (something)

Use "preferably ___" to talk about something that you want but isn't absolutely necessary.

I'm looking for a job in the fashion industry, preferably with a salary of $65,000 or higher.

Can we get together to discuss that, preferably some time early next week?

Take some medicine for the pain, preferably aspirin, and if it continues call to schedule a follow-up appointment.

"Preferably" usually comes on the end of your sentence. It can't be used as the subject of the sentence.

at the bare minimum

"At the bare minimum" expresses the very lowest possible amount of something. For example:

We need to hit $20,000 in sales at the bare minimum.

You need to floss every other day at the bare minimum.

Use this when you want to emphasize that a number is extremely low and can't go any lower.

You can also say "at the very minimum".

floss (one's teeth)

"Flossing" your teeth means cleaning the areas between your teeth with a special kind of string called "floss". Here are some examples of how to use the verb "floss":

Don't forget to floss!

How often do you floss your teeth?

every other (hour/day/week/etc.)

The phrase "every other day" describes something that:

  • happens one day
  • doesn't happen the next day
  • happens again the next day
  • doesn't happen again the next day

...and so on.

You can use "every other ___" with any unit of time:

I get paid every other week.

I usually visit them about every other year.

You can also use this phrase to talk about something that happens "a lot":

He keeps interrupting me every other minute to ask me stupid questions.