I really don't like it VS I don't really like it


Hello there,

Is there any difference between "I really don't like it" and "I don't really like it" for you?

I can feel there is a difference. "I really don't like it" = "I don't like it at all", while "I don't really like it" = "It might seem that I like it, but in fact I don't like it". Is that true?

I wondered if "I really don't know" and "I don't really know" have the same difference.

Thank you.
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello Sharewhat. You're certainly heading in the right direction, yes. The I really don't versions sound much more emphatic/definite than the I don't really ones.

    I really don't know = I cannot deny that I have no idea.
    I don't really know = I might know, not sure, I thought I knew but ...


    English - American (West)
    The two possible options would also be stressed differently when spoken.

    With "I really don't like it", the word 'really' would almost always receive the strongest emphasis in the sentence (although other words could also receive an equal stress along with 'really'). With "I don't really like it", the word 'really' would almost never receive a strong emphasis.
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