"if at all" usage?

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Hi ,

I am not able to understand the usage of "if at all " ,please give me some/more examples on the same.

I appreciate your help.

Thanks in advance
New Member42
Approved answer (verified by )
if at all is not used in isolation. The expression refers back to some other concept and is a highly abbreviated form of that preceding idea.

It occurs after expressions of scarcity, smallness, and the like -- words like little, few, slow, barely, hardly. And it reduces that small amount of something to zero.

More women are having fewer children, if at all.
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More women are having fewer children, if they are having any children at all.
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More women are having fewer children, or they are not having any children.

Use alcohol in moderation, if at all.
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Use alcohol in moderation, if you use any alcohol at all.
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Use alcohol in moderation, or don't use any alcohol.

The faucet is barely leaking, if at all.
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The faucet is barely leaking, if it is leaking to any degree at all.
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The faucet is barely leaking, or it is not leaking.
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if at all also occurs in questions.

When, if at all, will the economic recession end?
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When will the economic recession end, if it does end at any time?

How will blogging affect the practice of law, if at all?

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How will blogging affect the practice of law, if it has any effect at all?

In what way, if at all, does global warming affect you?
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In what way does global warming affect you, if it affects you in any way at all?
_____________

Don't confuse if at all with if at all possible, which means if it is possible in any way whatsoever.

CJ
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Hi, EnglishLearner. "if at all" often means "if there is a chance". I will give you some examples:

He labours hard over his proofs of the book, though little, if at all, over the newspaper proofs. (I doubt he labours a liitle ovet the newspapers proofs.)

Jane takes liitle exercise, if at all does it.

If he spokes at all it was in monosyllables.

If they read ay all it was onle the simpliest literature taht makes no sense.

I hope it'll help.
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Anonymous:
before usage of phrase 'if at all' please grasp the meaning which is as follows :

if at all = if in any way, if to any extent. e.g.
1)the clause of interest in a contract - there shall be no interest on payment due and if at all the interest shall not be more then 9% p.a.
2) I will not sale the house and if at all, i will sale it to a stranger.
Thank you, Jim.
P.S. I made so many typos and there is a small chance to amend them, if at all.Emotion: smile
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Hi CJ,
I saw a few examples in BNC. It seems that "if at all" tends to go with the word "possible". Am I correct?

EUW 796 Also very important, if at all possible, is to have some idea of a teacher's normal mode of operation.

ECE 2024 There is a clear emphasis upon promoting the choice of individuals in influencing the type of care they receive, providing care outside institutions if at all possible and limiting the amount of care available so as not to foster dependence.

EX6 706 Carry over: Try not to carry part of a sentence over to the next page and if at all possible leave paragraphs intact as well.

FEX 1184 Always prepare one meal at a time if at all possible.

J3T 526 That's right, we need to put that rider on, that, that we would hope that, obviously would look favourably at er, erm, removing these restrictions on our service if at all possible.
New Member10
melisngIt seems that "if at all" tends to go with the word "possible". Am I correct?
Yes. "if at all possible" is one expression. "if at all" is another.

CJ
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Hi CJ,
Could you please tell me the difference between " if at all possible" and "if at all"?
quite confused. ><
Have you read the answer above?

if at all possible means if it is possible in any way whatsoever.
if at all means something more like if any and is dependent on the context.

Please contact me by phone tomorrow if at all possible.
The food was good, but he was not feeling well, so he ate very little if at all.

CJ
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