Barely Vs Hardly

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by gojuca, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. gojuca Member

    Colombia )Spanish)
    Hi you all

    I was wondering if is there any difference between the two words I wrote above. Are these words interchangeables? If there is any difference between them, could you give me somes examples???

    Thanks in advance
  2. saia Senior Member

    -To almost no degree; almost not: I could hardly hear the speaker.
    -Probably or almost surely not: "Easily was a man made an infidel, but hardly might he be converted to another faith"
    - With severity; harshly.
    - With great difficulty; painfully.

    In Standard English, hardly, scarcely, and similar adverbs cannot be used with a negative. The sentence I couldn't hardly see him, for instance, is not acceptable. But adverbs like hardly and scarcely do share some important features of negative adverbs, even though they may not have purely negative meaning. For one thing, they combine with any and at all, which are characteristically associated with negative contexts. Thus we say I hardly saw him at all or I never saw him at all but not I occasionally saw him at all. Similiarly, we say I hardly had any time or I didn't have any time but not I had any time and so on. Like other negative adverbs, hardly triggers inversion of the subject and auxiliary verb when it begins a sentence. Thus we say Hardly had I arrived when she left on the pattern of Never have I read such a book or At no time has he condemned the movement. The fact is that adverbs such as hardly can be said to have a negative meaning in that they minimize the state or event they describe. Thus hardly means "almost not at all"; rarely means "practically never"; and so forth. This is why they cannot be used with another negative such as not or none.

    - By a very little; hardly: could barely see the road in the fog.
    - In a scanty manner; sparsely: a barely furnished room.
  3. greco-mexicano Senior Member

    USA - English
    I use them interchangeably. I could barely hear her! I could hardly hear her! They mean the same thing to me. :)
  4. clotimer

    clotimer Senior Member

    I would translate both for apenas.
  5. gojuca Member

    Colombia )Spanish)
    Thanks everyone, but I must say: wooooowwwww Saia your explanatìon it´s very clear.

    Thank you very much.
  6. Bil

    Bil Banned

    English USA

    ¡Ay! Éste es un verdadero rompecabezas. En la mayoría de los casos, los adverbios "barely," "hardly" y "scarcely" son sinónimos, en el sentido de "apenas" o "casi no." Pero—hay siempre un 'pero', ¿no?—"barely" y "scarcely" pueden significar "no más de," mientras que "hardly," si no me equivoco, no.

    I ate so much, I can barely/hardly button my pants. (apenas)
    I drank so much wine, I can barely/hardly walk. (casi no)
    He is barely/scarcely/hardly four feet tall. (no más de)
    I have barely/scarcely/hardly five dollars to my name. (no más de)
  7. franpliego Member

    Llevo una hora intentando traducir la explicación de saia como practica del día y ya de paso para entender la diferencia entre hardly and barely y no soy capaz. Podría alguien echarme una mano?
  8. el_ochito Senior Member

    Caracas - Venezuela
    Spanish - Venezuelan
    fran, para ser sobradamente claro veamos en español el uso "básico" de ambas.

    Hardly: casi que no

    I have hardly any friends = Casi no tengo amigos
    I can hardly walk = Casi que no puedo caminar

    Barely: apenas
    I barely speak a little Italian = Apenas hablo algo de italiano
    My mother barely made it home before the rain = Mi madre apenas alcanzó a llegar a casa antes de que lloviera.

    Como en español, hay casos en los que se pueden intercambiar directamente, hay otros en los que no, y hay otros en los que crean una pequeña diferencia de significado.

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