Consider the following sentences:

1. After his surgery, Raja hardly could walk.
2. After his surgery, Raja could barely walk.
3. After his surgery, Raja barely could walk.
4. After his surgery, Raja could hardly walk.

Which of the above sentences are grammatically $\text{CORRECT}$?

1. $\text{(i) and (ii)}$
2. $\text{(i) and (iii)}$
3. $\text{(iii) and (iv)}$
4. $\text{(ii) and (iv)}$

Hardly/barely is an adverb and means “almost not true”.

Hardly/barely comes before the main verb of a sentence, but when there is a modal or auxiliary verb, hardly usually comes after it:

• After his surgery, Raja could hardly walk.
• Here, could is the auxiliary verb and hardly/barely should follow it.

Correct option: D

https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/hardly

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