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Thread: meaning

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 2


    can sumbody tell me the meaning of " he was hard on me".
    does it contains a double meaning?

  1. Key Member
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      • English
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      • England
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    • Join Date: Feb 2005
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    Re: meaning

    Hello Rish,

    In most contexts, it would mean "he criticised me [or "my work", etc.] sternly".

    In a clearly sexual context, it might suggest an effectively energetic male partner.

    Best wishes,


    Not a professional ESL teacher.

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409

    Re: meaning

    In your sentence, with 'be hard on', there is no sexual meaning.

    be hard on:
    1. treat or criticize someone severely (the meaning as in your sentence)
    2. be difficult for or unfair to : "I think the war must have been hard on her."
    3. be likely to hurt or damage : "The monitor flickers, which is hard on the eyes."

    I think Americans also have another meeting, "being hard on at", which is better defined by someone in the forum from 'over there'.

  2. Monticello's Avatar
    English Teacher
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    Re: meaning

    Hi luckyrishu,

    MrPedantic, who from my perspective appears to hail from "across the pond," is right on target. So obviously the double meaning is understood in England as well.

    As to whether another meaning were intended in the vague context that you cite, you'll have to be the judge.

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