Hardy" and "hearty" are both common English words, frequently used in descriptions. But the fact that they look and sound almost identical due to their similar spellings can create confusions among the readers. You might actually think they mean the same or even that one is a misspelling, and this is certainly not one of those situations.
We'll shortly explain below the differences between "hardy" and "hearty" and the best ways to use them correctly.
Hardy vs. Hearty
It's actually easy to sort out what each adjective describes or refers to, starting from their definitions and from the initial words that they derivate from. More accurately, it's clear from a first glimpse that "hardy" comes from "hard" and "hearty" derivates from "heart", isn't it?
Well, the meanings of the words are also related to their basic significations. "Hardy" describes something strong enough to resist hard, difficult conditions, whereas "hearty" describes something friendly, full of energy, with a good heart, joy, positive feelings.
When do we use "hardy"?
"Hardy" is defined as hard enough or strong enough to resist against bad conditions or difficult situations. It's easy to remember what it describes if you think about what "hard" means. You can use "hardy" both when referring to people or objects that are resistant.
Example: She's a hardy woman, she'll get over the death of her parents even though it seems difficult in the beginning. - "hardy" describes the ability to deal with a difficult situation.
When do we use "hearty"?
When you think of heart, it comes natural to associate it with feelings, with positivity and energy. Well, that's exactly what "hearty" describes. The adjective is used when referring to a friendly person or gesture, full of energy, welcoming and loving. When referring to meals, "hearty" describes a large, satisfying portion.
Example 1: She gave us a hearty smile before inviting us into the living room. - "hearty" refers to a large, friendly, loving smile.
Example 2: I'm so full after the hearty meal I was served. - "hearty" can also describe a large and satisfying portion of food.
Yes, they do sound similar, but if you quickly check what each word derivates from, you will immediately distinguish what "hardy" and "hearty" actually refer to. Remember this and nothing will confuse you again about these two words.