Contributed by Daniel Evans





'Hard' is quite a basic English vocabulary word.  Most people know how to use it as an ADJECTIVE.

 As an ADJECTIVE, it's main meanings are...

i)  resistant to pressure, can not easily be dented or squashed

ii)  showing, or done with, a lot of strength

iii)  difficult


For example,

  • Tennis balls are soft, but baseballs are very hard.
  • He gave the soccer ball a hard kick.
  • Studying Chinese is very hard.

 But what about when we want to change it to an ADVERB?

 Of course, 'hardly' is an ADVERB, but it does not have a similar meaning to the ADJECTIVE 'hard'.


The main meaning of 'hardly' is only just / barely, or almost not.

 So for example,

  • There were hardly any people at the party.
  • The writing was so small that I could hardly read it.
  • When I finished shopping, I hardly had any money.


When we want an ADVERB which has a similar meaning to i), ii), or iii) above, we can use 'hard'. 

The word 'hard' can be used as both an ADJECTIVE or an ADVERB.

 For example,

  • The fighter punched his opponent hard.
  • I work hard at my job.
  • I threw the baseball too hard, and accidentally smashed a window.

 So remember, 'hard' and 'hardly' have very different meanings!