Uses of REALLY and making New Year's resolutions | DailyStep English

Uses of REALLY and making New Year's resolutions

This is Jane Lawson's Audio Blog #042 at DailyStep English


Hello, I’m Jane at DailyStep English and welcome to my first audio blog of 2012!

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First of all, of course, I’d like to say Happy New Year! I hope 2012 is a wonderful year for you.


Have you made any new year’s resolutions? This is always a time for us to look at our lives and habits, and perhaps decide to change a few things for the better! My resolutions are to do more exercise, eat more healthily, see more of my family, work more efficiently, take more time off (I can’t see that happening for a while), create many new kinds of courses for DailyStep, sort out all my clutter, keep the office tidier, go to more cultural things such as exhibitions…. I could go on, but I think that is enough for now! Do you think I will stick to my resolutions? I sincerely hope I will – they don’t sound too difficult do they? Well, let’s see how the year goes!


How about your resolutions? I hope that one of them is to spend a bit more time learning English. If you are short of time, just five or ten minutes per day can make a big difference, if you use your time wisely.


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So, let’s start off with an audio word study about a tricky little word!

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Here is Audio Word Study #04
2 from Jane Lawson at .


Thank you to Morabet for requesting this topic! This little word is so often used, and in various contexts, that even advanced speakers can become confused by it!


Really (adverb)

Meaning 1: in fact / actually

Examples: 1. Did he really ask you how to do it? I thought he was an expert! (note: here, using ‘really’ indicates surprise.)

2. I don’t really know what to expect when I get to Munich, as I have never been there before.


Meaning 2: We use ‘really’ to indicate that something is certain.

Examples: 1. “Is he really going to move to Greenland?” “Yes, I think he really is!” (note: we could also say here “Is he definitely going to move to Greenland?”)

2. “Would you like some more to eat?” “No thank you, it is delicious but I am really full already so I had better not have any more!. (note: we could also say here “I am definitely full…”, or “I am totally full…”)


Meaning 3: Really can mean ‘very’ or ‘very much’. It is a way of emphasising an adjective or statement:

Examples: 1. This food is really delicious!

2. It’s really cold today, isn’t it?

3. “Did you enjoy the film?” “No, not really.” (note: this means “No, I did not enjoy it very much.”)


We often use ‘really’ as a way of reacting in conversation, and in this sense it can mean anything at all! You have to listen to the intonation to understand the meaning. Listen to these examples:


1. “I’m going to tell you a secret.” “Really!” (note: this person is interested!)

2. “I’m going to tell you a secret.” “Really.” (note: this person is not interested!)


That is all for Audio Word Study #042 on It’s a really good idea to write some example sentences of your own, like the ones above, to help you remember how to use this word really well!

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Well, that is it for today! I’ll be in touch again soon. Thank you for your many requests about subjects you would like me to cover in my blogs. I will cover as many of them as I can!


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