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Rarely vs. Seldom
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Member
Posts: 7
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Hi, thank you for clicking this artcle.

Today, I encountered this question on a test at school:

San Francisco is usually cool in the summer, but Los Angeles ( ).
1, is seldom 2, is scarcely
3, hardly is 4, rarely is

The answer was "4." I surely erased 2 & 4 at first because they do not express the frequency.

I left 1 and 4... But each of them are almost the same meaning, right? Why is the 4 right? Are there any rules? Please explain it...

Thank you.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Rachel, Moderator,
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Location: China
Posts: 312
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The choices here involve frequency, just as you said in your post.

"Seldom" and "rarely" mean more or less the same. The former is more formal than the latter, and is usually used in written English.

To express frequency, "hardly" and "scarcely" would need "ever": "hardly/scarcely ever" means "almost never".

Finally, the right choice IS 4, with one more detail to know. That is, words of frequency are not used to end a sentence. With the verb "be", we say "Los Angels rarely is" (but "Los Angels is rarely cool" when words of frequency are not the last word of a sentence).

Chuncan Feng
China


Chuncan Feng

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