never scold hardly

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never scold hardly

Post by Stevenloan » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:39 am

- Whenever James makes mistakes, his parents never scold him hardly, (on the contrary/conversely) they always gently advise him right from wrong.

- Does this sound natural enough to your native ears? :)

Thanks a lot!

StevenLoan
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:01 am

.. Steve >>

Whenever James makes mistakes his parents (never scold him hardly) hardly ever scold him. On the contrary, they always gently advise him right from wrong.

.. this isn't quite the way I would say it but I am just editing your attempt .. scold is rather an old fashioned word and is generally used in relation to a wife telling off her husband .. Try looking in Rogets for some alternatives ..

WoZ who has copped a tongue lashing
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by dante » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:23 am

I guess that Steven was looking for "hard" not "hardly" there WoZ, as in the following sentence he gives the adverb "gently" to contrast the idea.
Anyway, it is difficult for me to find a proper synonym for "scold" in the construction "scold him hard" and I believe that it's not the grammatical construction that is likely to be used by a native speaker in this sense. (I risk getting my opinion reversed by Jerry's educated native folks panel:) .The closest to it would be "to punish him" but when I add "hard" to it, I get an idea of medieval apparatus of punishing people, so I'd forget about it in this context.
I'd rather think of your attempt Steven of expressing the idea of "telling off a child" as a pattern that you have in your mother tongue, which doesn't suit English well, at least not contemporary English. So I'd think of it more broadly and say that English speaking people will not "scold" or "rebuke" their children or anyone (I've tried google and got but few results for either, in this context), but will, for example, "yell at" or will "be strict with", which are both semantically and syntactically different expressions to "scold" and "rebuke".

I'm not sure that "advise someone right from wrong" works, while "teach someone right from wrong" seems established usage.
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:25 pm

You might find castigate and berate in Roget, but I'd leave them there. I'm not sure that Roget really gives a feel for current idiomaticity.

Hardly is not an adverb, according to what I consider to be better modern analysis - it's a degree modifier on occasion, and a quantifier modifier:

This wallpaper is hardly better than that it has replaced. (degree modifier)
There were hardly any people in the supermarket. (quantifier modifier)

Hard is used adverbially, as dante suggests:

He hit the ball hard.

Although hard is used in many idiomatic ways (eg a hard winter, a hard question, a hard decision; hit the ball hard), it is not a collocate of scold, again as dante implies.
Scold harshly works - perhaps that's what is resonating at the back of your mind, Steven.

Tell him off or chew him out are colloquial. As dante says, a formal but not too stuffy rendering probably needs a restatement:

- Whenever James makes a mistake, his parents never discipline him harshly; on the contrary, they always correct him gently.
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by dante » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:32 pm

I guess that we've made our positions clear on that one in some of the previous threads Edwin but anyway. It still sounds unacceptable to me to fuse grammatical form and function into one. I don't see regularity or a fully developed concept in the terminology you propose Edwin, which would convince me that the form-function distinction is unnecessary and should be abolished.
There is a clear grammatical and semantic sense in grouping words into classes according to the properties they share. There are elaborated criteria which make specific word part of the specific class and not any other one. That applies to the words which are classified as adverbs, and however heterogeneous the class of adverb really is, it still makes sense to put them together. Beside all the other reasons for doing so, the "ly" ending of the word "hardly", typical for adverbs, gives another, morphological justification to putting this word in the class of adverbs.
The functions of "hardly" are as you explained Edwin, "degree modifier" or "quantifier", which is why "hardly" is grouped into the semantical subclass of "degree adverbs" in many grammars. Functionally, "hardly" can be used on the level of sentence, modifying the whole predicate,or the verb phrase, like:

"Dante hardly speaks English."

or on the level of a noun phrase like a modifier of a determinative inside the noun phrase like:

"There was hardly any bread left."

or even directly modifying the noun head in a noun phrase, which I think can be said to happen in the situations like:

"After hardly a moment of thought he made a sketch of me."
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:47 pm

Following on from the comments made by Dante and Edwin, it seems to me that there is really only one truly effective way for a non-native speaker to be able to know what is or is not idiomatic in any given situation, and that is for them to expose themselves as much as possible to the widest possible range and diversity of usages employed by native speakers -- in face-to-face conversations, in films and TV, on the radio, in novels, in newspapers, on cereal boxes, in advertising and anywhere in between. This will make it possible to compare and contrast the way that related but not identical constructions are used in a variety of contexts, and thus to develop a feel for what sounds right in a particular context.

Any lesser attempt to grasp the language's nuances merely amounts to fiddling at the edges. There's no getting away from the necessity to work at mastering them, as Dante has already done to such a great extent in just a few years (exactly how many years have you been learning English, Dante?).
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:55 pm

I think that the best reason to put a word into a word-class is because of what it does in a given construction, dante - not how it ends, where traditionalists dumped it, what the same assemblage of letters did three pages ago, or what colour it appears in print in, in the book one is reading at present.
The best definition of adverb is a word that modifies verbs (I won't go into the usual definition of modify in this shade of meaning).
Very never does modify verbs in acceptedly grammatical constructions; hardly rarely does; the morphology, I'm sure, has mislead Steven into classifying it as a word that typically modifies verbs, closely related in meaning to the adjective hard.

Even in she hardly slept a wink that night, hardly seems to modify the whole structure rather than just the verb sleep - there seems to be a divergence from central adverbial status. Contrast she slept badly (and notice the mandatory shift of position of the modifier in this case).

Notice the need to count exactly as something other than an adverb in example 2 below:

(1) You can't finish exactly at darts if you're left with 159.
(2) He hit the board exactly between the 1's of the number 11.
Last edited by Edwin F Ashworth on Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by dante » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:33 pm

Even in she hardly slept a wink that night, hardly seems to modify the whole structure rather than just the verb sleep - there seems to be a divergence from central adverbial status.
I agree of course Edwin, "hardly" is an adjunct, a sentence element, which modifies the whole predicate "slept a wink" rather than the verb "slept" alone. To make things more difficult, when you move "hardly" after the verb "slept" it becomes a part of the noun phrase, modifying externally "a wink" : "She slept hardly a wink."
Contrast she slept badly (and notice the mandatory shift of position of the modifier in this case).
"Badly" belongs to the category of adverbs of manner, probably the most prominent and typical category of adverbs. I agree that "hardly" diverges from the central, prototypical adverb definition, for a few reasons, There are two quirks that make "hardly" untypical adverb in my opinion:

- it appears as a noun modifier - a role which is not typical for adverbs

- it doesn't modify adjectives, which would be typical of adverbs. Even if it is used before adjectives like : "He's hardly handsome", it is obviously a kind of negator in the sentence, modifying the assertion expressed by "is".

On the pro side of classifying "hardly"as adverb, there are grammatical and semantic reasons for doing so. As the grammatical reason of classifying "hardly" as adverb, I'd mention that the salient use of "hardly" is on the level of sentence, in the position typical for adverbs, most often modifying the meaning of the verb or predicate. Semantically, I can't but see it as part of the line of degree adverbs like: moderately, profoundly, absolutely, totally, utterly etc. In my opinion, "hardly" adds to the list just fine.

Finally, the paradigm of classifying word groups is to have as coherent word classes as possible, sharing as many common properties as possible. You can't possibly be inflexible in making a workable grammatical concept of word classes. Which means that only central members of most of the classes will have all the properties that are taken into account in defining the particular class.

Which also means that you need to acknowledge all the properties that the particular word has, superficial or more substantial. I wouldn't therefore disregard the fact that a number of words end in "ly", and that it may indicate that they're adverbs of manner. It is not a sufficient and definitive criteria to give the final judgment if that's really an adverb of manner, but that's one of the collection of indicators that help defining the word meaningfully.
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by marie26 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:32 pm

While I realize the siscussion has led itself elsewhere, I wanted to add that it sounds fine to use the word 'scold' in the US. It might be said, ”Never scold harshly.”
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:34 pm

dante said

I guess that Steven was looking for "hard" not "hardly" there WoZ,
.. Dante you are wrong in this case .. he meant hardly .. hardly ever is a fixed idiom/phrase in english that denotes a degree of occurence ..

WoZ who hardly ever thinks about grammar .. except the vegetable
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by dante » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:32 am

We'll need Steven to tell us WoZ, but as an ESL learner who has made that same mistake of mixing up "hardly" for "hard" many times, I'm inclined to think that Steven did the same thing.
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:47 am

Wizard of Oz wrote:WoZ who hardly ever thinks about grammar .. except the vegetable [??]
Some people get really badly infected by the grammar bug. You can easily tell which ones they are, because under the microscope they always show up Grammar-positive.
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by Stevenloan » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:24 pm

You guys!

- I'm sorry. I should've written "his parents hardly ever scold him".

P.S: Have a nice day! :)

StevenLoan
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by dante » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:31 pm

Thanks Steven.

As WoZ said earlier in the thread, I was wrong in this case..

..dante..who is hardly ever wrong..
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Re: never scold hardly

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:45 pm

Me too.

Hastily changing tack, a youngster who needs instruction rather than discipline would be taught how to tell right from wrong (advised doesn't really work, probably because of the register). I wonder if you had this in mind, Steven?

You can (just about) tell somebody how to tell right from wrong.

The first tell in this sentence means communicate (usually verbally
), though the syntax is not the same; the second, distinguish (usually followed by between).
Last edited by Edwin F Ashworth on Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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