• Expressing Oneself

    English Form 4

    Amir Khamis

    Teacher at MIVUMONI SEC. SCHOOL in Dar Es Salaam

    The adverbials hardly, scarcely, barely and no sooner are often used to emphasize that one event quickly followed another.

    Hardly, scarcely and barely are followed by when while no sooner is followed by than.

    The verb describing the earlier event is usually in the past perfect tense while the verb describing the later event is in the past simple tense.

    Examples:

    i. I had hardly arrived home when my phone rang.

    ii. The bell had hardly rung when the students went out of their classrooms.

    iii. She had scarcely finished reading when she fell asleep.

    iv. The company had barely launched its new product when it went bankrupt.

    v. I had no sooner closed my eyes to sleep than I heard the sound of the alarm.

    N.B:

    If hardly, scarcely, barely and no sooner are in the initial position, the subject and auxiliary are inverted (had+subject).

    Examples:

    i. Hardly had I arrived home when my phone rang.

    ii. Scarcely had the bell rung when the students went out of their classrooms.

    iii. Barely had the company launched its new product when it went bankrupt.

    iv. No sooner had I closed my eyes to sleep than I heard the sound of the alarm.

    EXERCISE

    Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions given after each.

    (a)The police came and the thief started running. (Begin: No sooner...)

    (b)We arrived at the cinema. The film started. (Begin: Hardly...)

    (c)We had barely left home when the car broke down. (Begin: Scarcely...)

    (d)As soon as the bus arrived, the passengers rushed to board it. (Begin: Barely...)

    I wish you all the best in your academic endeavors.

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