I saw these sentences in the novel "Where You Belong" written by Barbara Taylor Bradford. I don't really get the meaning of the last sentence. Please explain it to me.

"You're absurd. And ungrateful, very ungrateful, and after all I did for you. Really', Valentine!"

"Don't really me in that tone or use the word ungrateful."

  • I think we need more context, please can you add in the passage immediately before this? Also, are you able to point out any particular bit(s) that you don't understand?
    – SteveES
    Apr 21, 2017 at 15:49
  • 6
    'Really' should be in quotes. The preceding speaker (call her A) has said “You’re absurd. And ungrateful, very ungrateful, and after all I did for you. Really, Valentine!” This speaker (B) is quoting A's words back at her, so Don't 'really' me in that tone means Don't say 'really' to me in that tone. Apr 21, 2017 at 16:03
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    This question is being closed because the keys to unlocking the mystery is not included in the question. Preceding context and the quotation marks MUST be included.
    – J.R.
    Apr 21, 2017 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


The second character is using the word "really" as a verb, meaning "to say 'really' to somebody in order to express disapproval". Thus the phrase "don't 'really' me in that tone" means "don't say 'really' to me in that tone".

Saying "really" as the first character has done here is almost certainly done in a disapproving manner, which the second character is finding to be rude or impolite.

The second character then also complains about the use of the word "ungrateful" to describe them.

I think the meaning here is that the first character thinks the second character is ungrateful and has emphasised that by saying "Really" in a disapproving tone, something which is quite common in certain forms of English. The second character objects to this, but refers to it in a very concise way by their use of "really" as a verb.

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