Author Topic: scarcely  (Read 9324 times)

Offline longman3575

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scarcely
« on: August 08, 2013, 09:56:30 pm »
What's the meaning of the underlined part? Could you paraphrase the part?
 Especially the word 'scarcely'?

One morning Alec made his way weakly toward the rocky side of the island. He came to the huge rocks and climbed on top of one of them. It was more barren than any other part of the island. It was low tide, and Alec’s eyes wandered over the stony shore, looking for any kind of shellfish He might be able to eat. He noticed the mosslike substance on all the rocks at the water’s edge. What was that stuff the biology teacher had made them eat last term in one of their experiments? Hadn’t the teacher called it carragheen? Yes, that was it. A sort of seaweed, He had said, that grew abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America. When washed and dried, it was edible for humans and livestock. Could the moss on the rocks below be it? He scarcely dared to hope it could.

Offline Darryl

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Re: scarcely
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 11:20:02 pm »
It's difficult to find a word that would adequately replace 'scarcely' in that context. He hardly dared to hope it could, perhaps.
He is desperately hoping that it's the edible seaweed he has seen, but he's also aware of the disappointment he will feel if it's not.

Offline longman3575

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Re: scarcely
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 01:26:17 am »
Can I use 'only just' for the word 'scarcely'?

Offline Britta

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Re: scarcely
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 07:56:32 am »
Hm, you've grasped the meaning but one wouldn't use "only just" in this sentence.

You might want to try here for more: "scarcely" in The Free Dictionary
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

Offline admin

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Re: scarcely
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 09:36:00 am »
he almost didn't dare...
Best wishes,

Duncan