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“The control and discipline of being a mother came so hard to me, that I can’t delude myself that if I’d been a man, and not forced into self-control, I’d have been any different.”

Could anyone help me understand the meaning of the word “hard” in this sentence?

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    Comes easy means happens naturally. Comes hard means acts as a challenge. Aug 18, 2020 at 15:28

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"Hard" here is an adverb, meaning "with a great deal of effort".

Use it in a sentence, "I work so hard to get this job".

The first part of your sentence can be reshaped to "the control and discipline came to me with a great deal of effort".

Note that all the above holds valid unless "came" plays as a copula, also known as a linking verb, which shows a transfer of physical or mental state, meaning "became". It is instead an adjective. This uncertainty, however, merely bring few to no difference in the meaning.

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  • I have upvoted this answer, because I find it substantially sound, though a little awkwardly worded. It makes the good point that "hard" can be read as adverb or adjective, though with essentially the same meaning. In either case, "hard" functions as a complement to "come": the adverb "hard" cannot be read as an adjunct because "x comes hard to y" is not a qualification of "x comes to y".
    – Pax
    Aug 19, 2020 at 17:55
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In this sentence, using the word "hard" means that certain aspects of mothering (self-control and discipline) presented themselves as difficult to the narrator.

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