Discussion:
could barely
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a***@gmail.com
2018-07-08 23:50:24 UTC
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1) His guitar was strange. He could barely touch the string and get a loud sound.

2) His guitar was strange. He could hardly touch the string and get a loud sound.


Meaning:

His guitar was strange. He could touch it very softly and get a loud noise.


Are '1' and '2' grammatical with the given meaning?
Are they idiomatic?


Gratefully,
Navi
Peter T. Daniels
2018-07-09 04:06:55 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His guitar was strange. He could barely touch the string and get a loud sound.
2) His guitar was strange. He could hardly touch the string and get a loud sound.
His guitar was strange. He could touch it very softly and get a loud noise.
Are '1' and '2' grammatical with the given meaning?
What does "grammatical" have to do with meaning?
Post by a***@gmail.com
Are they idiomatic?
No. They would say the opposite of your intent, if they were interpretable.
Harrison Hill
2018-07-09 12:06:47 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His guitar was strange. He could barely touch the string and get a loud sound.
2) His guitar was strange. He could hardly touch the string and get a loud sound.
His guitar was strange. He could touch it very softly and get a loud noise.
Are '1' and '2' grammatical with the given meaning?
Are they idiomatic?
If a guitar can be so strange that the only way you can play it,
is to just about touch the string to get a very quiet sound, then that
is what 1 and 2 mean.

"Scarcely" could replace "barely" and "hardly", without affecting
the meaning; and "string" for "strings" is good English - using one
item to represent many items must have a name in grammar.
Harrison Hill
2018-07-09 12:27:42 UTC
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Post by Harrison Hill
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His guitar was strange. He could barely touch the string and get a loud sound.
2) His guitar was strange. He could hardly touch the string and get a loud sound.
His guitar was strange. He could touch it very softly and get a loud noise.
Are '1' and '2' grammatical with the given meaning?
Are they idiomatic?
If a guitar can be so strange that the only way you can play it,
is to just about touch the string to get a very quiet sound, then that
is what 1 and 2 mean.
"Scarcely" could replace "barely" and "hardly", without affecting
the meaning; and "string" for "strings" is good English - using one
item to represent many items must have a name in grammar.
"Synecdoche".
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-07-09 12:34:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harrison Hill
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His guitar was strange. He could barely touch the string and get a loud sound.
2) His guitar was strange. He could hardly touch the string and get a loud sound.
His guitar was strange. He could touch it very softly and get a loud noise.
Are '1' and '2' grammatical with the given meaning?
Are they idiomatic?
If a guitar can be so strange that the only way you can play it,
is to just about touch the string to get a very quiet sound, then that
is what 1 and 2 mean.
"Scarcely" could replace "barely" and "hardly", without affecting
the meaning; and "string" for "strings" is good English - using one
item to represent many items must have a name in grammar.
Piffle! "Barely" has an entirely different meaning to "scarcely" in this
context and it is "scarcely" which is the correct choice.

"He could barely touch the string and get a loud noise" clearly implies
that he was only just capable of hitting the string hard enough to get
a loud sound probably because of some physical impediment.
Peter Moylan
2018-07-09 23:24:19 UTC
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Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Harrison Hill
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His guitar was strange. He could barely touch the string and get a loud sound.
2) His guitar was strange. He could hardly touch the string and get a loud sound.
His guitar was strange. He could touch it very softly and get a loud noise.
Are '1' and '2' grammatical with the given meaning?
Are they idiomatic?
If a guitar can be so strange that the only way you can play it,
is to just about touch the string to get a very quiet sound, then that
is what 1 and 2 mean.
"Scarcely" could replace "barely" and "hardly", without affecting
the meaning; and "string" for "strings" is good English - using one
item to represent many items must have a name in grammar.
Piffle! "Barely" has an entirely different meaning to "scarcely" in this
context and it is "scarcely" which is the correct choice.
"He could barely touch the string and get a loud noise" clearly implies
that he was only just capable of hitting the string hard enough to get
a loud sound probably because of some physical impediment.
Agreed.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Jerry Friedman
2018-07-09 23:54:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His guitar was strange. He could barely touch the string and get a loud sound.
2) His guitar was strange. He could hardly touch the string and get a loud sound.
His guitar was strange. He could touch it very softly and get a loud noise.
Are '1' and '2' grammatical with the given meaning?
They're not suitable for formal contexts.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Are they idiomatic?
I believe I've heard people say such things.
--
Jerry Friedman
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