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  1. wotcha's Avatar
    Senior Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 735

    Not really? Not at all? Not exactly?

    I've been saying 'not really' when I feel like saying 'not yes and not no'

    What does 'not really' exactly mean?

    Is it close to 'not exactly' or 'not at all'?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,269

    Re: Not really? Not at all? Not exactly?

    It doesn't mean anything "exactly." It means, more or less "No, but I think saying 'no' might be rude or hurt your feelings" or "Not very much, but not so much that it's definitely so."

    Do you like asparagus?
    Not really. (I don't hate it, but given my choice, I won't eat it.)
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 11-Sep-2012 at 08:27.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.


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