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What’s the difference between “rare” and “scarce”?

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Question: what’s the difference between “rare” and “scarce”?

Both of them describe things that are uncommon or hard to find, but there are two differences.

The word “rare” can be used for events, but the word “scarce” cannot. For example, “It’s rare for a comet to pass this close to the Earth.” It’s an event that doesn’t happen frequently – only rare, not scarce, is used for events.

For things or resources, “rare” means not commonly found, and “scarce” has the connotation of insufficient. A person might have a rare disease. This disease is not common; only a few people in the world have it. Water is scarce in the desert. It’s difficult to find, and there’s not enough of it.

The opposite of rare is common or frequent, and the opposite of scarce is abundant, to have a lot of something. Hope this helps! Follow me for more.

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