hard and hardly

1. Hard can be an adjective or an adverb

  • It’s a hard job (adjective)
  • This is very hard bread (adjective)
  • You have to word hard. (adverb)
    (not You have to work hardly)
  • Hit it hard. (adverb)

2. Hardly in an adverb. It means ‘almost no’ or ‘almost not’

  • He hardly works at all (= He does very little work)
  • I’ve got hardly any money.
  • He knows hardly anything about geography.

Note that hardly, hardly any, hardly ever etc are much more common than almost not, almost no, almost never etc