is seldom, seldom is

benjaminlee

Senior Member
Chinese
The reason that this question is seldom, if ever, posed like this is that the answer seems to be self-evident. (BNC)


Almost every example shows that seldom is put after the link verb. Can seldom be put before it?


If put before, seldom is followed by "be". E.g, I seldom be a man like that.
 
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  • chfattouma

    Senior Member
    Tunisian Arabic
    The common order is 'linking verb + seldom'.
    The reason that this question is seldom, if ever, posed like this is that the answer seems to be self-evident. (BNC)


    Almost every example shows that seldom is put behind the link verb. Can seldom be put before it?


    If put before, seldom is followed by "be". E.g, I seldom be a man like that.
    I you definitely want to invert 'seldom' and 'be', then the latter has to be conjugated: 'I seldom am a man like that.'
    Note, however, that the above construction is not very common.

    However, If you start your sentence with 'seldom', then it is more common to invert subject and verb as in : 'Seldom am I a man like that.'
    Note that such a construction is used to emphasize the frequency of something.
     
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    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, you can, although your example doesn't work.

    You can certainly say, for example, 'you seldom are the man that I would have wanted you to be'. (Cross-posted)
     

    warren4184

    Senior Member
    British English (West Sussex)
    What examples do you have where 'seldom' is put after the verb? I would say it almost always comes before. If used with two verbs it seems to go between (such as in your example: it comes between the passive construction of 'is' and 'asked'):

    "We seldom go out at the weekend."
    "He seldom manages to finish what he starts."

    "We have seldom visited him to be honest."
    "The question is seldom asked."
     
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