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    #1

    "if at all"

    "When TEST BEFORE is indicated, all specified conditions are tested before
    the first execution, and the statements to be performed are executed, if
    at all, only when all specified tests fail. When TEST AFTER is indicated,
    the statements to be performed are executed at least once, before any
    condition is tested."


    hi,
    what does the expression "if at all" mean, please?
    thanks

  1. stuartnz's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "if at all"

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    "When TEST BEFORE is indicated, all specified conditions are tested before
    the first execution, and the statements to be performed are executed, if
    at all, only when all specified tests fail. When TEST AFTER is indicated,
    the statements to be performed are executed at least once, before any
    condition is tested."


    hi,
    what does the expression "if at all" mean, please?
    thanks
    I'm not a teacher, but I understand the phrase to be emphasising the fact that certain actions will take place only under very specific circumstances.

    The statements to be performed are executed only when all specified tests fail.

    AND

    The statements to be performed are executed, if at all, only when all specified tests fail.

    both carry the same meaning. The addition of the phrase "if at all" serves to stress the uncommon nature, the low frequency of occurrence of the action thus labelled. It's as if the speaker or writer is pausing and stressing very strongly that the action is NOT to be performed except in the situation outlined.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #3

    Re: "if at all"

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    "When TEST BEFORE is indicated, all specified conditions are tested before
    the first execution, and the statements to be performed are executed, if
    at all, only when all specified tests fail. When TEST AFTER is indicated,
    the statements to be performed are executed at least once, before any
    condition is tested."


    hi,
    what does the expression "if at all" mean, please?
    thanks
    "If at all" means that the tests don't need to be performed unless all of the specified tests fail. The longer way of saying it would be, "... and the statements to be performed are executed, and they will need to be executed, only when all specified tests fail.

    I hope that makes sense? If not, please let me know!

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    #4

    Re: "if at all"

    thanks a lot.
    it's clear now.

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    #5

    Re: "if at all"

    hi,

    "I am not going to see you at all"
    "you can't do it at all"
    "I don't think you're going to like it at all"

    in contexts like this is "at all" used to stress the main idea of the text and will always mean "no way"?

    thanks.

  2. stuartnz's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "if at all"

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    "I am not going to see you at all"
    "you can't do it at all"
    "I don't think you're going to like it at all"

    in contexts like this is "at all" used to stress the main idea of the text and will always mean "no way"?

    thanks.
    Exactly!


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    #7

    Re: "if at all"

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    "I am not going to see you at all"
    "you can't do it at all"
    "I don't think you're going to like it at all"

    in contexts like this is "at all" used to stress the main idea of the text and will always mean "no way"?

    thanks.
    I'm not a teacher, so there's probably a technical way to explain it, but you are correct.

    1. I am not going to see you at all. - means that I will not be able to see you (I might say this if I am on a trip and will be in the same town as a friend, but I will be extremely busy and won't have the opportunity to see the friend).

    2. You can't do it at all. - It doesn't matter what you try; you won't be able to do it.

    3. I don't think that you're going to like it at all. - I've seen it (heard it, tasted it), and I know you. This is something that you won't like.

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