Literally means actually or exactly and we use it when we mean to convey something in the literal sense, with no tinge of exaggeration.

You could literally be fed up of sitting idle at home for days. And then, when you bawl out, “This is disgusting!” you literally mean it. There’s no exaggeration about it. It’s the plain truth. That makes it literal or real.

Next time you lose your temper and tell your annoying little brother, “Go, jump off that cliff!” you have enough to worry about, for all you know, your brother might take it literally.

Now, your father comes back from office, hungry and famished and says, “I am so hungry; I can eat a horse!” Did he literally mean that? Well, no; he was just being figurative — which means he was using words not for its meaning, but more for imagination, to create a dramatic effect. In other words, he was exaggerating a bit to get your mom to get him a quick bite. Clever papa, eh?

Now, the ball is in your court. Was that literal or figurative?

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:05:17 PM |

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