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    #1

    Ambiguous Adverb

    "I cannot really believe her."

    Ms. Tina Ericsson of Stockholm University states in a scholarly paper that I found on the Web:

    1. Some people say "really" modifies the modal negation. (I guess that means "cannot.")

    2. Some people say "really" modifies the main verb. (I assume that is "believe.")

    3. Some people say "really" modifies the whole clause.

    I personally rule out No. 3. I am torn beween Nos. 1 and 2.

    I should appreciate your opinion.


    THANK YOU!

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    #2

    Re: Ambiguous Adverb

    NOT A TEACHER

    I am very excited because I have just found an answer that satisfies me, at least.

    I want to share it with anyone else who might also be interested.

    *****

    "Latour's attempt to get to the metaphysical bedrock doesn't really work."

    Two experts* say that "really" in this sentence is an "adverbial of stance [shows the attitude of the speaker or

    writer] qualifying [modifying?] the verb [my emphasis]."

    *****

    * Ute Romer and Rainer Schulze, Patterns, Meaningful Units, and Specialized Discourse (Google books).

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Ambiguous Adverb

    'Really' and 'only' are two of the adverbs that really upset some people. They attempt to apply a sort of mathematical logic to language, and insist that'only' in the wrong position really means something different, and only uneducated people put 'really' in the wrong position.

    Meanwhile, the majority of native speakers place the adverbs where they feel like it, and usually manage to convey the meaning they wish. They really couldn't tell you which word the adverbs are really modifying. Really!
    Last edited by 5jj; 01-Jul-2012 at 19:19. Reason: typo

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    #4

    Re: Ambiguous Adverb

    NOT A TEACHER


    1. If you are a fan of really, I have just found an e-book that will blow your mind ( = go crazy with excitement).

    2. This book will really (!) ( = believe me) make your day.

    3. Just go to Google and type in these words:

    Gunter R. Lorenz Our small village is not really open to new things.

    *****

    Click on the first result. It should bring you to page 106 of Mr. Lorenz's Adjective Intensification.

    Read pages 106 - 109.

    It's an intellectual feast of the first water.

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    #5

    Re: Ambiguous Adverb

    NOT A TEACHER


    1. Really, I don't like driving.
    2. I really don't like driving.
    3. I don't really like driving.
    3. I don't like driving, really.

    Have you been unable to sleep because you were not sure about the role played by "really" in those sentences?

    Well, I have great news. Just google:

    55.2 Positions of Adverbs

    *****

    That article gives you the answers about "really" and many other adverbs.

    HAPPY READING!

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    #6

    Re: Ambiguous Adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    NOT A TEACHER


    1. Really, I don't like driving.
    2. I really don't like driving.
    3. I don't really like driving.
    3. I don't like driving, really.

    Have you been unable to sleep because you were not sure about the role played by "really" in those sentences?

    Well, I have great news. Just google:

    55.2 Positions of Adverbs

    *****

    That article gives you the answers about "really" and many other adverbs.

    HAPPY READING!
    Personally, I haven't lost any sleep over that. Perhaps I am wrong, but I would seriously doubt the sanity of anyone who has lost sleep over it.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Ambiguous Adverb


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    #8

    Re: Ambiguous Adverb

    Would you consider these two different as far as their meaning is concerned? They seem the same to me.

    1. I really don't like driving.
    2. I don't really like driving.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Ambiguous Adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    Would you consider these two different as far as their meaning is concerned? They seem the same to me.

    1. I really don't like driving.
    2. I don't really like driving.
    In that particular pair, I feel a clear difference.

    The first is close in meaning to "I strongly dislike driving".
    The second is close to "I do not have a particularly strong liking for driving. In fact, you could possibly call my feeling 'didlike'".

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    #10

    Re: Ambiguous Adverb

    NOT A TEACHER


    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    Would you consider these two different as far as their meaning is concerned? They seem the same to me.

    1. I really don't like driving.
    2. I don't really like driving.
    To me, they convey different meanings. (Maybe because "really" works the same way in my own language.)

    I really don't like driving. = I REALLY don't like driving, trust me on that! Driving is among the last things I'd do. (And only if I really had to.)

    2. I don't really like driving. = Well, shall we say, there are a lot of things I like more than driving, but I don't hate to drive either.
    Dear native English speakers of this forum,
    Please, always point out my grammatical mistakes, assuming you have "the time and the inclination". That is really the most effective way for me to improve. Thank you very much.

    Please note that I am NOT an English teacher.

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