absolutely

Luicevan

Member
Brazil - Portuguese
Hi, everybody!
I would like you could tell me the meaning of the word “absolutely” in the following dialogue:
“Do you want some company?”
“Absolutely!”
Does it mean “yes” or “no”?
Thank you!
 
  • Luicevan

    Member
    Brazil - Portuguese
    Thank you for your prompt answer. It’s incredible how things change from one language to another: in Portuguese, we have the same construction and it means a strong “no”.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    "Absolutely not!" would be the strong "No!"
    The syllable stress changes dramatically. Here is my attempt at explaining how I would say these.

    Affirmative 'ab-so-'lute-ly! ... with a strong emphasis on ab and lute.

    Negative 'ab-so-lute-ly 'not! ... with a strong emphasis on ab, and reducing stress on each syllable after that leading to a very emphatic not.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "Absolutely not!" would be the strong "No!"
    The syllable stress changes dramatically. Here is my attempt at explaining how I would say these.

    Affirmative 'ab-so-'lute-ly! ... with a strong emphasis on ab and lute.

    Negative 'ab-so-lute-ly 'not! ... with a strong emphasis on ab, and reducing stress on each syllable after that leading to a very emphatic not.
    An Irishism, no doubt.

    I would not hear the difference in "absolutely" in either context in New York.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    "Absolutely not!" would be the strong "No!"
    The syllable stress changes dramatically. Here is my attempt at explaining how I would say these.

    Affirmative 'ab-so-'lute-ly! ... with a strong emphasis on ab and lute.

    Negative 'ab-so-lute-ly 'not! ... with a strong emphasis on ab, and reducing stress on each syllable after that leading to a very emphatic not.
    I don't think it's an Irishism. This is the way I would expect to hear it as well. As I hear it, the "lute" gets a little more stress than the "ab", mostly in pitch.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I don't think it's an Irishism. This is the way I would expect to hear it as well. As I hear it, the "lute" gets a little more stress than the "ab", mostly in pitch.

    I just repeated it aloud here, and I would still expect them to sound the same (at least from my mouth).
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top