Ask Expert Teacher
Please submit your questions for publication about English or English Learning. (Questions may be edited)
Imagine that you are in a job interview in English and the interviewer asks you some common questions about how you could benefit the company.
Would you say: “I work hard” or “I hardly work?”
Think carefully. You want to impress the interviewer with your advanced knowledge of business English. You want to show that you have the necessary skills to communicate effectively with native English speaking clients and colleagues. You want to demonstrate that you understand the subtleties of the English language and that this knowledge will make you an invaluable part of the company. You would not want to make a simple mistake that could cause a big misunderstanding, would you? Of course not.
That’s why you would correctly say: I work hard.
Saying “I hardly work,” is one of the most common mistakes many English language learners make. The problem is that if you make this statement, it is a grammatically correct phrase, but it has the opposite meaning of “I work hard.”
Knowing the Right Words Can Get You the Job
“I work hard” means to be a good worker who finishes what s/he starts and always produces high quality results. Another good phrase to use in this situation is, “I’m a conscientious worker.”
“I hardly work” means “I don’t work very much.”
In this situation, both hardly and hard are adverbs, but they have very different meanings. Hardly means barely, or not much.
So, now imagine that someone is at a job interview in English and the interviewer asks this person how s/he could benefit the company. The answer given is: “I hardly work.”
Well, since that person doesn’t know what you now know, unfortunately that person will hardly work.
The news is much better for you. Keep working hard on improving your English.
- Sidhartha Desai, www.ExpertEnglishTeacher.com