hardly */*/*/

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 verb of a sentence, but when there is a modal or auxiliary verb, hardly usually comes after it: I can hardly breathe. You have hardly done any work. In stories and in formal English, hardly is sometimes used at the beginning of a sentence before an auxiliary verb: Hardly had she begun to speak, when there was a shout from the back of the hall.
Hardly is not related to the word "hard".
1) used for saying that something is almost not true or almost does not happen at all

He hardly spoke except to say hello.

Alice was so busy she hardly noticed the days pass by.

can hardly do something:

We could hardly afford to pay the rent.

hardly ... at all:

The countryside around Stowe has hardly changed at all.

a) used before words such as "ever", "any", "anyone", or "anything" to mean "almost never", "almost none", "almost no one" etc

There was hardly any wind, just a slight breeze.

You've hardly eaten anything.

Hardly anyone believed the fugitives' story.

It hardly ever rains here in the summer.

b) used for saying that something is very little more or less than something

The region's wine industry is hardly more than 40 years old.

London is hardly an hour by train.

2) used for saying that something had only just happened when something else happened

She had hardly arrived when she started talking about leaving again.

hardly had ... than/when:

Hardly had the men started training than they were sent into battle.

3) used when you think it is obvious that something is not true, not possible, not surprising etc

It's hardly surprising that people are starting to complain.

David's almost twenty-four – hardly a child.

This is hardly the time to start discussing finances.

you can hardly expect/blame etc (= it would not be reasonable to expect, blame etc):

You can hardly expect Myra to welcome you back after the way you've treated her.

4) British spoken used for answering "no", when you think someone has suggested something that is impossible

"Are you hung over?" "Hardly! I don't even drink!"

hardly a day goes by/passes without something (doing something) — used for saying that something happens almost every day

Hardly a day goes by without some company reporting losses.


English dictionary. 2014.

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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 — 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 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • 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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