barely took 20 minutes

Status
Not open for further replies.

keannu

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Korean
Home Country
South Korea
Current Location
South Korea
"barely" is hard to interprete, in this case it means "almost less than 20 minutes", a little bit positive meaning, but as in "There was barely any smell", it means "almost no", a negative meaning. How do you tell the difference?

st94)Today I participated in community service work in a garden area. What was great to see there was that most of the students barely took 20 minutes to finish their lunch....
 

Route21

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
Thailand
"Barely" in both contexts translates as "hardly".

It took hardly/barely 20 minutes.
There was hardly/barely any smell.

Hope this helps
Regards
R21
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
"Barely" is hard to interpret, in this case it means "almost less than 20 minutes", a little bit positive meaning ...

"Barely" doesn't mean "almost less than" anything. I find "almost less than" rather unusual and I can't think of many ways to use it.

It barely takes twenty minutes = It takes very nearly twenty minutes, maybe nineteen minutes and thirty seconds.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top