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Hi: I hope you all will be fine as the world is facing the current crisis.(referring to Covid-19)

Anyway, the confusion I have at the moment is about the phrase "not very good".

For example:

-How was the interview?

~It wasn't very good.

Here, what meaning does "not very good" convey, please? Does it mean it was good, but not 'very' good?

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Here, what meaning does "not very good" convey, please? Does it mean it was good, but not 'very' good?

It usually means that it was bad or very bad. It's a form of what is called understatement, ie expressing something in milder terms than you actually feel about it.

eg I say It wasn't very good. But I'm thinking It was terrible, It was awful, IT WAS A DISASTER!!!

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Laboriousn't very good

The negation of an adjective tends to attract the word 'very'. This weakens the sense of the adjective.

If something is not good, we think "It was bad". If something is not very good, we think "Well, at least it wasn't horrible".

LaboriousDoes it mean it was good, but not 'very' good?

So yes. Not very good, not extremely good, but not bad either.


Power stations are not very efficient in general. (Maybe they're not extremely efficient, but they're not completely inefficient and useless either.)

The air coming from the vents in those rooms is just warm and not very forceful. (just warm = not very hot; not very forceful = not forceful enough)

It is 80 meters high and it is not very steep, so it can easily be climbed. (It's not perfectly flat. It's a little steep, but it's not extremely steep either.)

CJ

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Comments  
LaboriousDoes it mean it was good, but not 'very' good?

No. It is understatement. It means that it was bad.

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