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Quick answer
"Barely" is an adverb which is often translated as "apenas", and "scarcely" is an adverb which is also often translated as "apenas". Learn more about the difference between "barely" and "scarcely" below.
barely(
behr
-
li
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (hardly)
a. apenas
I can barely see anything. Where are my glasses?Apenas puedo ver. ¿Dónde están mis anteojos?
2. (scantily)
a. escasamente
My bedroom is barely furnished because I am a minimalist.Mi habitación está escasamente amueblada porque soy minimalista.
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scarcely
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (only just)
a. apenas
Edith had scarcely been in the shower for two minutes when the hot water stopped coming out.Edith llevaba apenas dos minutos en la ducha cuando dejó de salir agua caliente.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Scarcely any house in the area has a swimming pool.Casi ninguna casa de la zona tiene piscina.
We scarcely knew what to make of it.No sabíamos qué pensar.
2. (rarely)
a. apenas
She lives alone, and entire days go by with her scarcely talking to anyone.Vive sola y pasan días enteros en los que apenas habla con nadie.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I have scarcely ever seen her wearing no makeup.Rara vez la vi yo sin maquillaje.
We scarcely ever go to the beach these days because we're so busy.Casi nunca vamos a la playa estos días, porque es que estamos tan ocupados.
3. (not at all)
a. ni mucho menos
The painting in the hotel is scarcely what I would call art.El cuadro del hotel no es ni mucho menos lo que yo llamaría arte.
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