grammatical word: hardly

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I’m still on vacation now, so I’ve been unable to write my blog for the last few days, but I have a new entry for you finally today. I’d like to write about the word “hardly”. This word has two meanings.

1. It is used to talk about something that we can do, but that we almost can’t do. For example:

It’s so dark that I can hardly see my hand in front of my face.

The man’s accent was really thick, so I could hardly understand him.

2. We can also use it to talk about things that we don’t do very much. For example:

My brother hardly works at all. He’s a very lazy person.

I’ve hardly lost any weight even though I’ve been exercising a lot.

It’s important to note that the adverbial form of “hard” is NOT “hardly”. Therefore, we DON’T say:

My brother works hardly.

Instead, we must say:

My brother works hard.

Sometimes there is a joke question that English speakers ask each other:

Are you working hard or hardly working?

If we work hard, it means we work very much, but if we hardly work, it means we don’t work much at all.

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