"AT ALL!" - How to make a strong point in English!





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Published on May 13, 2013

http://www.engvid.com/ Want to express a strong, negative opinion in English? Watch this lesson and learn how to use the expression "at all" to strengthen your point when making negative comments. An easy way to start sounding more natural in English. Take the quiz on this lesson here: http://www.engvid.com/at-all/

Hi. My name is Rebecca, and in today's lesson I'm going to explain the meaning of a commonly used English expression, and that expression is: "at all". I'd like to thank Mitchelin from Columbia, one of our viewers on engVid, for suggesting this lesson. Okay? So, Mitchelin, this lesson is for you and also for all you other viewers out there. All right, so let's see how to use this expression: "at all".

In order to understand it, let me read you a few sentences where I've used this expression, and you try to figure out if you can understand what it means and why we use "at all".
"I don't like this music at all."
"He doesn't enjoy his work at all."
"She didn't understand the instructions at all."

All right? So, what's going on here? Why did we use the expression "at all" at the end of these three sentences? After all, I could have said: "I don't like this music." So why did I say: "I don't like this music at all"? What do you think? Well, the reason I said: "I don't like this music at all." is because I was trying to emphasize or stress that I really don't like this music. Okay? So one way of doing that is by adding this expression, "at all", at the end of my sentence.

Similarly, in the second one, I could have said: "He doesn't enjoy his work." All right? And that's a perfectly correct sentence. But when I said: "He doesn't enjoy his work at all." I mean he really, really doesn't enjoy his work. Okay? All right. So that's the expression, "at all".

Now, there's another way in which you might see this expression being used. For example, if someone says: "Do you like spinach?" And you don't, you really don't like it for some reason, you might say: "No. Not at all, though I know it's good for us." Okay? So: -"Do you like spinach?" -"Not at all." All right? So that's another way in which you might see that expression being used.

And one last point about this. Let's read this one: "I eat non-vegetarian food at all." Well, we can't use this expression "at all" in this way. Why? Because this is a positive sentence. And as you might have noticed, we can only use the expression "at all" in negative sentences. So, we cannot say: "I eat non-vegetarian food at all." You have to... You could only use it in a negative expression, like this one: "I don't eat non-veg food at all." That means I don't eat even a little bit. Okay? Because the expression "at all" means even a little, to the slightest degree. That means I don't like this music at all. I don't like this music even a little bit. Okay?

All right, if you'd like to do a quiz on this and practice using this expression, please go to our website: www.engvid.com. And you can also leave comments for us there. So if there's a lesson or idea that you have, you have some suggestions, you can leave us some comments, and, who knows? We might be able to record a lesson for you. Thanks very much for watching. Good luck with your English.


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