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Thread: hard; difficult

  1. #1
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default hard; difficult

    I'd like to know how and when to use "hard".

    E.g.
    1) Was the exam hard? <= is it correct? I believe it isn't, but I'm not sure.
    2) I had to work really hard / hardly. ???


    when shall I replace "hard" with adjective "difficult"?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: hard; difficult

    Was the exam hard? <--- correct
    Was the exam difficult? <--- correct

    I had to work really hard. <--- correct
    I had to work really hardly. <--- incorrect

    I had to do some difficult work. <-- correct

    hardly in this context would means "almost nothing" or "very little" and would not work with "really hardly" or in this sentence in general.

    If you wanted to say you did very little work you could say:

    I hardly had to work.

    Chris
    http://www.hearseesay.com

  3. #3
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: hard; difficult

    I read this sentence:
    It's too hard to pin down... can I use "difficult" as well?

    what is the difference between "hard" and "difficult", then? I can see no differences between them!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: hard; difficult

    They are both very close, yes you could use either one without a problem in this example.

    The difference between the two?

    I would say "hard" in most cases refers to objects better than people.

    "The test was hard." Puts thes focus on the test as being the issue.

    "The test was difficult." Puts more focus on the persons personal view or impression of the test being hard for them.

    An example where they are not very interchangable:

    "The dog was being difficult." Works
    "The dog was being hard." Wrong

    Chris
    http://www.hearseesay.com

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