Scarcely/Hardly....when

Scarcely/Hardly....when


Scarcely or hardly in a sentence are used to join two clauses. The word `had’ is used immediately either before or after scarcely or hardly and then the subject. The

second clause is introduced by `when’. Care should be taken not to insert the subject immediately after scarcely or hardly. Also, the past tense is used in the

sentence.

E.g.

Scarcely had the thief seen the policeman when he ran away.

Or, We had hardly walked a kilometre when it began to rain.

Test you understanding - Choose the correct sentence from the pair of sentences given below:

1
a. We scarcely finished our work, when my uncle came for a visit.
b. We had scarcely finished our work, when my uncle came for a visit.

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ANSWER: 2. We had scarcely finished our work, when my uncle came for a visit.



2.
a. Hardly had the dog gone to sleep, when the cat entered the house .
b. Hardly the dog had gone to sleep, when the cat entered the house.

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ANSWER: 1. Hardly had the dog gone to sleep, when the cat entered the house .



3.
a. Scarcely had we reached the station, when the train left.
b. Scarcely had we reached the station, then the train left.

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ANSWER: 1. Scarcely had we reached the station, when the train left.



4.
a. Mother had hardly finishing cooking, when the postman rang the bell.
b. Mother had hardly finished cooking, when the postman rang the bell.

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ANSWER: 2. Mother had hardly finished cooking, when the postman rang the bell.



5.
a. Scarcely was the party over, when the guests began to leave.
b. Scarcely had the party been over, when the guests began to leave.

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ANSWER: 2. Scarcely had the party been over, when the guests began to leave.


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