Seldom

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nhat

Senior Member
france
I've just learned this word reading a novel
I'd like to use it in my futur essay, but I fear it may be a word that sounds too literary and that is too unusual. So is it common?
Seldom does he eat
or rather : Rarely does he eat?
 
  • david314

    Senior Member
    American English
    Seldom is a lovely word, but should be used seldomly. Seldom does he eat is considered very proper English in America. He eats seldomly, is somewhat less poetic/literary and more common. Good luck, my friend
     

    RuK

    Senior Member
    English/lives France
    Seldom, je m'en sers peut-être une fois par an, et encore par écrit seulement.

    Par contre, seldomly, je ne suis pas d'accord avec david, ce n'est pas un mot. A mon avis.
     

    nhat

    Senior Member
    france
    oui seldomly j'ai cherché dans le dictionnaire mais il n'y est pas. Ce doit etre un americanisme, ca doit ce dire aux USA. But i appreciate your help very much david.
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    oui seldomly j'ai cherché dans le dictionnaire mais il n'y est pas. Ce doit etre un americanisme, ca doit ce dire aux USA. But i appreciate your help very much david.
    "seldom" est déjà un adverbe. On n'ajoute pas -ly à un adverbe pour en faire un adverbe. Même les Américains comprennent ça.:)
     

    Jejune

    Member
    Britain (English)
    Come now, David! "Seldom does he eat" isn't even considered very proper English; it's a poetic inversion. Seldom isn't a very literary term, but the construction is most commonly: "He seldom eats." Likewise, "He rarely eats."
     

    swizzle

    Senior Member
    french
    i very much agree with ruk, but of course, it all depends which type of essays you write. In the right context and tone, it actually is a very good word.
     

    Jejune

    Member
    Britain (English)
    Tu as tort, Gil. Americans are very, very dull and have a habit of making gross tautologies (e.g. lengthy!!!!). My Webster's 1947 unabridged, alas, does have "seldomly".

    la_cavaliere: I almost never say "almost never".
     

    la_cavalière

    Senior Member
    anglais États-Unis
    Tu as tort, Gil. Americans are very, very dull and have a habit of making gross tautologies (e.g. lengthy!!!!). My Webster's 1947 unabridged, alas, does have "seldomly".

    la_cavaliere: I almost never say "almost never".
    And I seldom say "seldom"!

    Maybe we need an AE-BE translation board... lol.
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    Tu as tort, Gil. Americans are very, very dull and have a habit of making gross tautologies (e.g. lengthy!!!!). My Webster's 1947 unabridged, alas, does have "seldomly".

    la_cavaliere: I almost never say "almost never".
    Nonobstant ce que j'ai déjà écrit, "seldom" a été utilisé comme adjectif d'après le dico ci-dessous qui le qualifie d'archaïsme. Que l'on ajoute -ly à un adjectif, ça va, à condition qu'il existe encore.:)

    American Heritage Dictionary -
    adv. Not often; infrequently or rarely. See Usage Note at rarely.
    adj. Archaic
    Infrequent; rare
    .
     

    david314

    Senior Member
    American English
    Mes amis, selon L'Oxford English Dictionary, le mot seldomly (adverbe) est tout à fait propre. J'avoue que la remarque de Je jeune que, Seldom does he eat, est littéraire, et très prôche d'être poétique. Cela dit, c'est exactement pour cette raison que je suggerais: Seldom does he eat, si on desire de parler "le haut anglais". Il s'agit d'une phrase qui je pourrais bien prononcer-et tous depend à votre société. Good luck nhat, and my thanks & best wishes to all
     

    david314

    Senior Member
    American English
    Try this nhat: He rarely eats. Rarely is both proper and common, indeed it is my prefered word in this case. I seldom(ly) go to the mall because I don't like to shop-this is a fine, accepted usage of the word in my part of the world. Good luck
     
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