What's difference between 'hardly' and 'rarely'? To the questions like, "How often do you go clothes shopping?" Should I answer as,"Rarely" or "Hardly"?

  • "Rarely" or "hardly ever". Jan 18, 2016 at 16:16
  • or hardly every day (but rarely less than twice a week) Jan 18, 2016 at 18:24

2 Answers 2


Hardly has a nuance of being difficult to do.

Rarely has a nuance of very isolated occurrences in time.

Seldom is possibly closer to what you want to convey in this sentence.


You can use rarely in this context, but not hardly.

However, "rarely and " hardly ever" as frequency adverbs can be used in the sense of "not often". So these are interchangeable.

You can use rarely or hardly ever as follows:

How often do you go shopping for clothes? Rarely/Hardly ever.


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