A day hardly goes by without...

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courage

New Member
japanese
Hi, everyone

I know the sentence"Hardly a day goes by without a visit from someone." is grammatical enough, but are the sentence"A day hardly goes by without a visit from someone." and its emphatic form " Hardly does a day go by without a visit from someone. " grammatical? If so, how are they different in meaning from the first sentence "Hardly a day goes by without... "?

Thanks in advance
 
  • Raragra

    Member
    Spain, spanish
    The meaning is the same but by placing the adverb at the beginnig of the sentence emphasizes it. I believe that the use of the adverb and then the verb is more formal and generally used in literature.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Hardly a day' is perhaps a bit more specific about the amount of time, because 'hardly' is inside the subject. But there's not much difference between all three.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    You should not move the "hardly". When you say hardly a day..., it is clear that "hardly" modifies "day", and it means "there is almost no day when this does not happen." However, when you say a day hardly goes by, "hardly" now modifies "goes by". You are no longer describing the quantity of days at all, but are instead describing how they pass.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    As others have said, all three are grammatical, but I would say that you'd almost always hear the first one (Hardly a day goes by without ...) - and I suspect that it is because it has almost become an idiom that has become fixed in its structure.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    1 "Hardly a day goes by without a visit from someone."
    2 "A day hardly goes by without a visit from someone."
    3 “Hardly does a day go by without a visit from someone.
    The differences seem subtle, almost too subtle, but this is the best I can do:

    1 In the course of a week/month/year, I expect to receive a visitor each day and am rarely wrong.
    2 Even although it is late in the day and nobody has arrived, it would be unusual for me not to receive a visitor.
    3 As 1 above but said with great satisfaction/ annoyance/ despair/ etc.
     
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