Not really. Not really.
In French, when you change the order of words in a sentence, you may mean something completely different or you may simply be adding a little nuance.
This is the case between "not really" and "really not". By reversing these two words, you will add nuance to the sentence.
The sentence will not mean exactly the same thing.
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Today we're going to look at the difference between "really not" and "not really". This question was asked to me by a subscriber. Don't hesitate, you too, to comment if there are notions or expressions that you want me to explain.
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Really not, in French, it means "not at all" in English.
Whereas not really means "not really".
Not at all and not really.
So "really not" and "not really". I'll give you some context to help you better understand and especially to perceive the nuance.
Let's start with really not. If you say "really not," you mean not at all. You are quite firm. If you have any doubt in the sentence replace with "not at all".
Here are several contextualizations. The cinema is really not far. You can walk to it. So you mean it's not far at all. It's close.
Do you like eating beets? I really don't. I hate beets, so you're pretty firm. "Not at all," you don't like beets at all.
This dog is really not smart. He doesn't see that I hide his toys behind my back. So this dog is not smart at all. I ate oysters yesterday and I really don't feel well. I think I'm going to throw up.
So you are not well at all.
"Not really", we will use it either to say not totally, not entirely. Or also to say no in a slightly softer way. For example, if I say do you want to eat a pizza? Not really, I would rather eat a salad.
It's a "no" said in a slightly softer way. "Not really," it's not totally that, not exactly that, it's not your first choice you might say.
It's less firm, less radical, if you will, than "really not." I'll give you some more context.
Is your dress red? Not really, it's more like burgundy. So we understand that it's pretty close to red, but it's not exactly red.
Do you like going to the sea? Not really. I prefer vacations in the mountains. So we understand that we prefer vacations in the mountains, but we don't hate vacations at the sea. If I had answered "really not", it means that I hate going to the sea.
Cynthia never really knew her father. He abandoned her when she was three years old. So we understand that she didn't know him very much. She doesn't know him completely.
That's it for today. That was a pretty short lesson. I hope you enjoyed it.
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