2 ways of pronouncing "after all"

Zhi

Senior Member
Chinese
After learning the phrase "after all" from dictionaries, I concluded that:

If all is emphasized, then it's used before a statement:
-After all I'm not an organized person.
-After all he came.

If after is emphasized, then it's used following a statement, which has a different meaning:
-I'm not an organized person after all.
-He came after all.

Am I correct?
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    After learning the phrase "after all" from dictionaries, I concluded that:
    I'm not sure there's such a rule.
    If after is emphasized, then it's used following a statement, which has a different meaning:
    "After all" seems to have the same meaning in both sentences where the speaker refers to himself as disorganised. It means "You have to remember that..." or "You have to account for the fact that..."
    There could be a difference in the other two, yes.
    After all he came: You have to consider that he came.
    He came after all: In spite of not being expected to come, he did.
     

    Zhi

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hi Barque, doesn't "I'm not an organized person after all" convey the meaning that "As it turns out, I'm not such an organized person as we have imagined"?
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    That's another possible meaning, I agree. It could also mean what I said in my first post. The context will determine which meaning is to be taken.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I may not be the best person to comment on emphasis but:
    I think I will buy a light aircraft - after all, I do have a lot of money. -> concessive – little or no emphasis.
    He said he would not go but John went to the party after all / "I'm not an organized person after all" -> in contrast – the after is emphasised
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    After learning the phrase "after all" from dictionaries, I concluded that:

    If all is emphasized, then it's used before a statement:
    -After all I'm not an organized person.
    -After all he came.

    If after is emphasized, then it's used following a statement, which has a different meaning:
    -I'm not an organized person after all.
    -He came after all.

    Am I correct?
    I recognize two meanings, based on where the phrase is. At the start of these sentences it means "For this reason:", while at the end it means "which is not what I expected". However in all four sentences, I give identical emphasis to the words "after" and "all".

    But there is a clear pause after the sentence-starting phrase "After all", and it needs a comma in writing. "After all" is not in the same phrase as the rest of the sentence. Not when it has this meaning.

    I'm not an organized person after all" -> in contrast – the after is emphasised
    I recognize this speech pattern, and it is common to use it in this sentence, even though I do not. Perhaps this is a regional speech difference.

    I can think of one situation where I use this pattern: announcing the solution to a puzzle, when it was an overlooked solution:

    She: Did you find your glasses?
    He: Yes, finally. They were in my locker after all.
    She: That's where I told you they would be!
    He: Yes, you did. Next time I'll pay more attention.
     
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