Meaning of ALMOST in English
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.
BAD : My job takes me almost to every part of the world.
GOOD : My job takes me to almost every part of the world.
Almost comes immediately before the word it modifies: 'He was working in Hungary for almost ten years.'
DUBIOUS : Outside Japan, almost nobody speaks Japanese.
GOOD : Outside Japan, hardly anybody speaks Japanese.
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.'
BAD : She almost couldn't breathe.
GOOD : She could hardly breathe.
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.'
Longman Common Errors English vocabulary. Английский словарь распространенных ошибок Longman. 2012