Meaning of ALMOST in English

ALMOST

adverb

1

BAD : I almost have forgotten what she looks like.

GOOD : I have almost forgotten what she looks like.

BAD : The suitcase almost was too heavy to lift.

GOOD : The suitcase was almost too heavy to lift.

2

BAD : My job takes me almost to every part of the world.

GOOD : My job takes me to almost every part of the world.

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Almost comes immediately before the word it modifies: 'He was working in Hungary for almost ten years.'

3

DUBIOUS : Outside Japan, almost nobody speaks Japanese.

GOOD : Outside Japan, hardly anybody speaks Japanese.

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Instead of saying almost no/nobody/never etc , it is more usual to say hardly any/anybody/ever etc: 'It was so early that there was hardly any traffic.' 'I hardly ever go to the cinema nowadays.'

4

BAD : She almost couldn't breathe.

GOOD : She could hardly breathe.

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Almost is used with a negative verb when something does actually happen although, at the time, there is a strong possibility that it will not happen: 'I was feeling so tired that I almost didn't come.' 'The traffic was so heavy that she almost didn't get here in time.'

When you mean 'only a little' or 'only with great difficulty', use hardly : 'We hardly know each other.' 'She was so tired that she could hardly keep her eyes open.' 'I can hardly hear myself think.'

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