In the dictionary: at all

used in negative statements and questions to emphasize what you are saying

They’ve done nothing at all to try and put the problem right.

He’s not looking at all well.

‘Do you mind if I stay a little longer?’ ‘No, not at all.’

Has the situation improved at all?

But people do say "But many people think it is sad that she wanted to change her appearance at all." which is a positive sentence

Why do they use "at all" in positive sentences?


1 Answer 1


at all can be used with both negative and positive.

Say nothing at all. Keep quiet.

Say anything at all. Say whatever you like.

  • 1
    Yes, those examples work! Eureka! I don't think that "at all" in the second one means the same thing as her "at all" in the negative. That's the reason it was so confusing to me.
    – Nick
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 1:29
  • Compare whatsoever.
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 13:15

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