Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I HARDLY love you

To Japanese students who learn English, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between 'late' and 'lately,' or 'hard' and 'hardly.' Today I taught the distinctions to my students.

I asked a girl student, "If you have a boyfriend and he says to you, 'I hardly love you,' then how do you feel?' Her answer was exactly what I had expected. She said with a smile, "I will be very happy." She had thought that 'hardly' would be a similar word to 'strongly,' a kind of word for emphasis. I told her to look it up in her dictionary, and she did so. When she found the meaning of the word 'hardly,' she gasped, "What a shock..."