husseinhassan posted:

Is there a difference in meaning between (a) and (b)?

a) It isn't rare for these animals to be seen at night.

b) It is rare for these animals not to be seen at night.

Hi, Hussein,

Yes, there is a difference in meaning between (a) and (b).

If (b) is true, then (a) is true. But if (a) is true, (b) need not be true.

Sentence (b) implies that these animals are almost always seen at night.

There is a vast area between almost always seeing them and rarely seeing them.

If it isn't rare for them to be seen, maybe they are still only occasionally seen.

husseinhassan posted:

If we'd like to convert adverbs of frequency; (occasionally and almost always) to a percentage, can we say:

a) These animals are seen by about 40% of the time at night.

b) These animals are seen by about 95% of the time at night.

Hello again, Hussein,

Yes, you can say that -- but you must omit "by." They aren't seen by a certain percentage of time; they are seen by people:

  • These animals are seen about 40% of the time at night.

Also, with such percentages, I'd prefer a sentence-initial placement:

  • About 40% of the time these animals are seen, they are seen at night.

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