At all

< Previous | Next >

sonneedshelp

New Member
english - canada
I'm grappling with the role 'at all' plays in the sentence in the subject line.


When I say "I'd be lying if I said seeing this didn't affect my final decision at all," as opposed to, "I'd be lying if I said seeing this didn't affect my final decision," does the former imply diminished impact of 'seeing this' on my final decision?

Thanks in advance for all your insights!
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both statements mean that the person's decision was affected, to some extent.


    I'd be lying if I said seeing this didn't affect my final decision.
    = To tell the truth, my decision was affected by seeing this.

    No reference is made to how large or small that effect may have been.


    I'd be lying if I said seeing this didn't affect my final decision at all.
    = To tell the truth, my decision was affected by seeing this, but only in a marginal way.

    The use of "at all" adds (negative) emphasis to the statement.


    So yes, I agree that adding "at all" implies diminished impact.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top