Are there any other words or expressions to mean "hard time"?

For example, I'd like to say, I had a hard time waking up this morning.

Is there any word to mean difficult other than hard time? one word is preferred. It must have been so much better if "hardly" meant the same as "hard time", but it doesn't.

  • I'm having difficulty works.
    – Element115
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 6:25
  • Is there no -ly version adverb? Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 6:27
  • You could use: I had a difficult time... I had issues..I had trouble... I had problems...Do any of those work for you?
    – Element115
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 6:31
  • 1
    Challenge and struggle are both nouns that can replace "hard time"
    – Doarn
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 6:43
  • If you're looking for an adverb in particular, then you could use reluctantly, although that really means that you didn't want to wake up, not necessarily that it was difficult. Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 23:26

2 Answers 2


I don't think we have an adverb to replace "have a hard time".

"Barely" is close, but there's a distinction--"had a hard time" means you encountered difficulties, "barely" means it almost didn't happen. "Had a hard time" looks at the process, "barely" looks at the result.


Here are some adverbs that come to mind:

I woke up [...] this morning.

  • Tiredly
  • Exhaustingly
  • Arduously
  • Roughly

Though I would say that none sound quite as natural as "I had a hard time waking up" or "I had a rough time waking up".

  • 1
    These only work with the O.P.'s example sentence. I think the OP is looking for a more general term that would also work with, say: I had a hard time starting my car, or: We had a hard time writing that program.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 14:33

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