Barely, hardly, scarcely with any

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Lau Lau

Senior Member
Español, España
Hello

I'd like to ask you the differences between those three, or if they are synonyms.
For example:
"She was scarcely any taller than her younger brother."

Can I change scarcely for hardly or barely?
How does it sound?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Lau Lau

    Senior Member
    Español, España
    Omg, really? I took this example from a high school book named Gateway C1 by MacMillan Education.

    I guess this is a AE/BE thing. 🤷

    Thanks for your reply!
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Please note that the title of your thread should summarise your question, not form part of it that you’ve omitted from your post! ;)

    The word hardly is by far the most common of those and can be used in almost any statement of that kind. The other two are less versatile, but both are possible in your example. I wouldn’t feel the need to delete “any”.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I'd probably not use "any" with "barely". Hmm...In fact I would prefer not to use "barely" with "taller than".

    She was barely as tall as her younger brother.
    She was hardly/scarcely (any) taller than her younger brother.
     

    Lau Lau

    Senior Member
    Español, España
    I'd probably not use "any" with "barely". Hmm...In fact I would prefer not to use "barely" with "taller than".

    She was barely as tall as her younger brother.
    She was hardly/scarcely (any) taller than her younger brother.
    Thank you, velisarius ;)
     
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