Can anyone explain to me how to use the phrase would hardly have been?

I came across this phrase in an article in The Atlantic titled "The Far Right Wants to Gut the EU, Not Kill It."

The writer wrote:

A few years ago, the party membership's decision to include a so-called Dexit in its 2019 platform ... would hardly have been notable."

Why not simply use was hardly notable?

1 Answer 1


It means that it didn't happen. "A few years ago, they did not include Dexit in the party's platform. But if they had done, it would have been barely notable."

  • That's a clear explanation. Another thing about the meaning of the sentence (the word "hardly" is so confusing😂). It means if the far-right politicians did include the Dexit in their platform, people would not/hardly have noticed, Right? Thanks!
    – Fern
    May 7, 2019 at 12:33
  • Yes. (NB: I corrected my ungrammatical "would not have been barely", apologies.)
    – jonathanjo
    May 7, 2019 at 13:19

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