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Thread: Not half

  1. #1
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    Default Not half

    A: Did you have a good time?
    B: Not half.
    ==> B means he had a really good time. To my knowledge, I would explain it as B had a mix feeling of happiness and unhappiness. My question here is why didn't B answer directly like "Yep, I did." It reminds me of another question.

    A: How was the movie?
    B : Not bad.
    ==> In this case, I'd explain it as so-so, not good enough to see but not too bad though. Is that right?


    The negative "not" in both examples gives me somewhat a negative idea.(AaaaaaRG, I have limited vocab)

  2. #2
    PammyLorel Guest

    Default Re: Not half

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    A: Did you have a good time?
    B: Not half.
    ==> B means he had a really good time. To my knowledge, I would explain it as B had a mix feeling of happiness and unhappiness. My question here is why didn't B answer directly like "Yep, I did." It reminds me of another question.

    A: How was the movie?
    B : Not bad.
    ==> In this case, I'd explain it as so-so, not good enough to see but not too bad though. Is that right?


    The negative "not" in both examples gives me somewhat a negative idea.(AaaaaaRG, I have limited vocab)
    "Not half" means "Not half bad" which means something is good (less than 50% bad)

    "Not bad" means it was good

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not half

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    A: Did you have a good time?
    B: Not half.
    ==> B means he had a really good time. To my knowledge, I would explain it as B had a mix feeling of happiness and unhappiness. My question here is why didn't B answer directly like "Yep, I did." It reminds me of another question.

    A: How was the movie?
    B : Not bad.
    ==> In this case, I'd explain it as so-so, not good enough to see but not too bad though. Is that right?


    The negative "not" in both examples gives me somewhat a negative idea.(AaaaaaRG, I have limited vocab)
    I have not heard the first one. I don't think the statement is consistent with having a really good time.

    "Not bad" is an example of litotes. It is the negation of a negative to make a moderate positive. "Not bad" is not as good as great, but it is better than OK or pretty good.

  4. #4
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    Default

    not half UK INFORMAL
    used in spoken English to express a positive statement more strongly:
    It wasn't half crowded in the club last night (= It was very crowded).
    She didn't half shout at him (= She shouted a lot at him)!
    "You enjoyed yourself last night, didn't you?" "Not half (= Very much)!"
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...&dict=CALD

    PammyLorel, your answer is much appreciated. As DictionaryCambridge, in my humble opinion, it's not less than 50% bad. What do you say? :wink:

    AH, so-ga. "Not bad" is better than "pretty good". I have to de-fossilze the interlingual mistakes that have embeded chronically in my left hemisphere now. :)

    I have one more question, how can I place order to extremely/pretty/totally/very/quite from greatest extent?

    Extremely different.
    Pretty different.
    Totally different.
    Very different.
    Quite different.


  5. #5
    Susie Smith Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    not half UK INFORMAL
    used in spoken English to express a positive statement more strongly:
    It wasn't half crowded in the club last night (= It was very crowded).
    She didn't half shout at him (= She shouted a lot at him)!
    "You enjoyed yourself last night, didn't you?" "Not half (= Very much)!"
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...&dict=CALD

    PammyLorel, your answer is much appreciated. As DictionaryCambridge, in my humble opinion, it's not less than 50% bad. What do you say? :wink:

    AH, so-ga. "Not bad" is better than "pretty good". I have to de-fossilze the interlingual mistakes that have embeded chronically in my left hemisphere now. :)

    I have one more question, how can I place order to extremely/pretty/totally/very/quite from greatest extent?

    Extremely different.
    Pretty different.
    Totally different.
    Very different.
    Quite different.

    I copied and pasted the definition below from The American Heritage Dictionary.

    not half. Not at all: “Fancy housing? Not half likely, ma'am” (Russell Baker).

    I think Mike meant that "not bad" means "pretty good" or "better than simply OK".

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    I thought it meant 'not half but 100%', or something like that. In the UK, it's quite a strong expression.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I thought it meant 'not half but 100%', or something like that. In the UK, it's quite a strong expression.
    You are a strange people.

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    We say 'cheap at half the price', which really makes no sense at all.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    We say 'cheap at half the price', which really makes no sense at all.
    I've heard that here, too.

  10. #10
    Susie Smith Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I thought it meant 'not half but 100%', or something like that. In the UK, it's quite a strong expression.
    So:
    AE = negative meaning
    BE = positive meaning

    Right? :?

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