hardly

hard|ly
W2S2 [ˈha:dli US ˈha:rdli] adv
1.) almost not
My parents divorced when I was six, and I hardly knew my father.
The children were so excited they could hardly speak.
I can hardly believe it.
Hardly anyone (=almost no one) writes to me these days.
Dad ate hardly anything (=almost nothing) .
There was hardly any (=very little) traffic.
She lives in Spain, so we hardly ever (=almost never) see her.
hardly a day/week/month etc goes by without/when
(=used to say that something happens almost every day, week etc)
Hardly a month goes by without another factory closing down.
see usage noterarely
2.) used to mean 'not', when you are suggesting that the person you are speaking to will agree with you
It's hardly surprising that she won't answer his calls after the way he's treated her.
You can hardly blame Tom for not waiting.
My boss could hardly be described as handsome.
hardly the time/place/person etc
(=a very unsuitable time, place, person)
This is hardly the place to discuss the matter.
3.) used to say that something has only just happened
The serious building work has hardly begun.
hardly ... when/before
She had hardly sat down when the phone rang.
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GRAMMAR
Do not use hardly with a negative word : I can hardly believe he said that (NOT I can't hardly believe he said that). | There's hardly any milk left (NOT There's hardly no milk left).
Use hardly just before the main verb : He could hardly speak (NOT He hardly could speak).
Do not use hardly at the beginning of a sentence, except in very formal writing : I had hardly got in the house when the phone rang is the usual way to say this. It is possible to say |Hardly had I got in the house when the phone rang but this is very formal
!! Do not use hardly as the adverb of hard . The adverb of hard is hard : I tried hard to remember (NOT I tried hardly to remember). | Students have to study very hard (NOT Students have to study very hardly).
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Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hardly — Hard ly (h[aum]rd l[y^]), adv. [AS. heardlice. See {Hard}.] [1913 Webster] 1. In a hard or difficult manner; with difficulty. [1913 Webster] Recovering hardly what he lost before. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. Unwillingly; grudgingly. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hardly — (adv.) c.1200, in a hard manner, with great exertion or effort, from O.E. heardlic stern, severe, harsh; bold, warlike (see HARD (Cf. hard) + LY (Cf. ly) (2)). Hence assuredly, certainly (early 14c.). Main modern sense of barely, just (1540s)… …   Etymology dictionary

  • hardly — [härd′lē] adv. [ME hardliche < OE heardlice] 1. Now Rare a) with effort or difficulty b) severely; harshly 2. only just; barely; scarcely: often used ironically or politely to mean “not quite,” or “not at all” [hardly the person to ask] 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • hardly — [adv] scarcely; with difficulty almost inconceivably, almost not, barely, by a hair, by no means, comparatively, detectably, faintly, gradually, imperceptibly, infrequently, just, little, no more than, not a bit, not at all, not by much, not… …   New thesaurus

  • hardly — ► ADVERB 1) scarcely; barely. 2) only with great difficulty. 3) no or not (suggesting surprise at or disagreement with a statement) …   English terms dictionary

  • hardly — adverb 1 almost not: I hadn t seen him for years but he had hardly changed at all. | can/could hardly do sth: The children were so excited they could hardly speak. | I can hardly believe it. | hardly anyone/anything (=almost no one or almost… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • hardly */*/*/ — UK [ˈhɑː(r)dlɪ] / US [ˈhɑrdlɪ] adverb Summary: Hardly is a negative word and is often used with words like any and ever , but it should not be used with other negative words: We hardly ever do anything interesting. Hardly comes before the main… …   English dictionary

  • hardly — hard|ly [ hardli ] adverb *** Hardly is a negative word and is often used with words like any and ever, but it should not be used with other negative words: We hardly ever do anything interesting. Hardly comes before the main verb of a sentence,… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • hardly — [[t]hɑ͟ː(r)dli[/t]] ♦♦ 1) ADV BRD NEG: ADV before v, ADV group, oft ADV amount (emphasis) You use hardly to modify a statement when you want to emphasize that it is only a small amount or detail which makes it true, and that therefore it is best… …   English dictionary

  • hardly — 01. They [hardly] ever go out; maybe once a month at most. 02. I [hardly] recognized you with your new haircut. 03. My daughter can [hardly] remember Quebec City because she was very little when we lived there. 04. Your father [hardly] slept at… …   Grammatical examples in English

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