In many cases, adjectives can be made into adverbs by adding “ly” with the same meaning. For example, strong & strongly both have the same meaning, of course with a different usage. However, hard and hardly have a completely different meaning. Let’s look at these words today.
Hard is an adjective, which has a few different meanings:
- Yesterday’s exam was hard (difficult).
- A diamond is very hard (solid/firm).
- Working in construction is hard work (requires a lot of effort).
Hard is also an adverb, which also has a few different meanings:
- My student’s work very hard (using a lot of effort).
- Look! It’s raining hard (with a lot of force).
Hardly is an adverb, which also has a few different meanings, and very much different from hard:
- I hardly slept last night (I scarcely slept).
- Joe was in the office all day but he hardly worked (He barely worked).
Let’s compare these two sentences:
- Joe works hard (This is a positive statement about Joe. He uses his effort when he works).
- Joe hardly works (This is a negative statement about Joe. He scarcely/barely uses any effort).
So, how about you? Do you work hard, or do you hardly work? Thanks for studying today!
Check out my book:
NEW for 2012! 109 Phrasal Verbs – 116-page eBook
- The DEFINITION of each phrasal verb.
- How to USE the phrasal verb.
- The STRUCTURE showing the grammar pattern of the phrasal verb.
- EXAMPLE sentences to see how the phrasal verb is used in context.
- A PRACTICE question to give you the chance to use the phrasal verb.