The word "hardly" is an adverb that we use to describe very small amounts of activity or amounts of time:

  • Amina hardly ever comes to class.
  • Hester hardly ate any of her food. (She didn’t eat very much.)
  • We hardly know anything about the situation.
  • I hardly know you. (I don’t know you very well.)
  • The students hardly ever raise their hands in class.
  • Bill said he hardly had enough time to finish the test.
  • It hardly snowed here last year, and most people were upset about that.

Don’t confuse the word "hardly" with "hard."


Other words similar to "hardly" are "barely" and "scarcely."

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This page was first published on November 3, 2012. It was updated on December 27, 2015.