Barely

JuriTerreni

Senior Member
Chinese-China
So if someone says "it's barely 7 o'clock", does it mean it's not 7:00 yet or it just pasts 7:00?
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It means it's just past 7 o'clock for me ... usually by a minute or two.
    I agree.

    "It is nearly seven o'clock" or "it is almost seven o'clock" if it were a few minutes until seven o'clock.

    I think "just past seven o'clock" is clearer to most people and I would use that phrasing myself.

    I think "barely" can be confusing in some situations.

    Did you get to work on time?

    Just barely.

    In that situation it means that you got there just before the time you were supposed to arrive, though I think you could understand that to mean you were just a couple of minutes late too.
     

    JuriTerreni

    Senior Member
    Chinese-China
    I agree.

    "It is nearly seven o'clock" or "it is almost seven o'clock" if it were a few minutes until seven o'clock.

    I think "just past seven o'clock" is clearer to most people and I would use that phrasing myself.

    I think "barely" can be confusing in some situations.

    Did you get to work on time?

    Just barely.

    In that situation it means that you got there just before the time you were supposed to arrive, though I think you could understand that to mean you were just a couple of minutes late too.
    Thank you very much.
     
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