Hard and Hardly

Hard, not hardly, is the adverb of the adjective hard. Hardly must not be used except in the sense of scarcely. Hardly earned and hard-earned have quite different meanings.

Hardly, like scarcely, is followed by when not by than, in such a sentence as " I had hardly begun when I was interrupted".

Than sometimes creeps in from a false analogy with "I had no sooner begun than I was interrupted".

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