Hard and hardly can be confusing for a lot of students. Let’s have a look at these two words today!
Hard is an adjective and has the opposite meaning of “soft.”
- A bagel has a hard crust and a soft inside.
- If you don’t put that bread in a bag it will become hard.
- Steel is harder that wood.
In addition, hard is used to mean “difficult” or “requiring a lot of effort.”
- The final exam was harder than I expected.
- Some people find it hard to used the subway in Tokyo.
- She’s a good teacher, but sometimes she gives us hard questions to think about.
Hard is also used as an adverb and means, “using a lot of effort or with a lot of energy.” Hard generally comes after the verb.
- He said he studied very hard to pass the exam.
- We worked hard on the report and finally finished it on time.
- It rained hard for two days.
Hardly is also an adverb but means “scarcely,” “barely,” and “slightly.” Hardly generally comes before the verb.
- It hardly rained this summer, so the water supply is low.
- The trains hardly come between midnight and 6:00am.
- Because of the poor sound system, we could hardly hear the CEO when he gave his speech.
Thus, in a way, hardly can have the opposite meaning of hard, when used as an adverb. Compare these two sentences:
- Jack worked hard on the project all day. Jack used a lot of effort.
- Jack hardly worked on the project all day. Jack used very little effort.
Did you work hard on something today or were you hardly working? Leave a comment here and let me know!
If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them.
Thanks for studying today!