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hard to say

It is hard to say w/o being there, but most adjustments to derailures take about 1/2 turn of the barrell adjuster. Usually counter-clock wise, the idea is to unscrew the adjuster a little to allow for the stretching of cables.
 

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Probably an easy fix, if nothing's bent or broken.

It's a little complicated to explain, but probably not hard to remedy if nothing's broken. There's probably a good explanation online, maybe at parktool.com or sheldonbrown.com. What I'd try first is to put the derailleur in one of the "jumping" gears and look at it from behind. The top pulley should line up exactly with the cog. If it doesn't, turn the barrel adjuster a little (1/2 turn or so) to see if it gets closer to alignment. If it does, ride and see if it's fixed. If it gets worse, turn it a whole turn the other way and try that. Also, make sure the cable moves easily and isn't binding, especially if it passes under the bottom bracket. A drop of lube there sometimes is all you need.
If that doesn't work, google "rear derailleur adjustment" and you should find a fix.
 
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