uncommon VS unusual

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Senior Member
<< uncommon VS unusual >>

Is there any difference in usage of these words?
For example, can I say "This day was uncommon."?

<< Please include the words to be discussed in your post.
Thank you. :)
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  • rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    "This day was uncommon" is wrong. You can say "Thursday was unusual in that we normally go to the theatre but we decided to go to the cinema for once." You can't say "Thursday was uncommon": there's a Thursday every week. Consider:

    1) "Adders are uncommon": there aren't many adders.
    2) "The design of the aeroplane was unusual": it was unconventional.
    3) "He set about his work with an uncommon zeal": most people wouldn't be so zealous.
    4) "It's unusual for him to stay out late": he normally comes home early.

    Perhaps "uncommon" refers to the rarity of a thing and "unusual" refers to how exceptional or remarkable the thing is. I could have written "a rare zeal" in sentence (3). But the difference is not absolutely clear. You could argue that his zeal was exceptional as well as rare.

    Cross-posted with panjandrum.
    Last edited:


    New Member
    Which sounds better? "Lot size differences are not unusual for this area" or "Lot size differences are not uncommon in this area"
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