Hardly, barely

English grammar (See all)

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Hardly, barely

Hardly and barely mean 'just', 'not very much', or 'scarcely':
The weather is so bad that he can hardly see the road. The weather is so bad that he has difficulty seeing the road.
After his accident, he could barely walk. After his accident, he had great difficulty walking.
I can barely hear you. I can't hear you very well at all.

It should be noted that hardly and barely have negative connotations. Make sure you don't repeat the negative, as that would be grammatically incorrect:
You can barely walk, can you? (and NOT can't you?)
They hardly know anybody here. (and NOT nobody)


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