had hardly any / hardly had any


Can please someone tell me if this is correct:

I had hardly any money in the bank. (???)
I hardly had any money in the bank <-- I know this is right
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    If you're saying that you had only a very small amount of money in the bank: Only your first sentence sounds right to me: I had hardly any money in the bank.

    Your second sentence doesn't sound right at all.


    Senior Member

    I found this original post is quite similar to my question, but the first two replies contradicted each other. Could you please share your opinions on this?

    I’m asking about the position of the adverb “hardly” in sentences. If the second sentence doesn’t have the same meaning as the first, what’s the difference?

    1. I had hardly any money coming into house.
    2. I hardly had any money coming into house.

    Susan Boyle said the first sentence in her interview. I made the second. According to a grammar book “hardly” usually goes in mid position (the second sentence). Another grammar book says “hardly any = almost no” and it goes in end position (the first sentence). Can I conclude “hardly” and “hardly any” go in different position?

    Any comment is appreciated.


    Senior Member
    Ukrainian - Russian
    Discussion added to previous thread.
    Cagey, moderator

    (1) At the end of the race he hardly had any strength left.
    (2) At the end of the race he had hardly any strength left.

    Which is the correct position of hardly and why?
    Could you give some more sentences with "hardly had"

    Thank you very much!
    Last edited by a moderator:


    We normally put hardly in mid position between the subject and the main verb. But it can either modify the main verb or a noun/noun phrase.
    In your first sentence, it modifies the main verb.
    In your second sentence, it modifies the noun phrase.

    For example:
    She hardly had any sleep or She had hardly any sleep.

    So we can put it directly before the main verb or the noun phrase.
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