I've noticed that adjectives are often placed loosely in sentences in English, that is, sometimes I find it hard to locate the word that they modify. Farlex Grammar provides some clues on the order of adverbs in English sentences, but adds right away that "there is a great deal of flexibility in where the adverbs may appear in the sentence".

What's the difference between "Then it really got stormy" and "Then it got really stormy"?

Are these two completely same in meaning or there are some subtle hues?

2 Answers 2


Both phrases make sense, but I do find a subtle difference in the words modified by really.

"Then it got really stormy"

In this sentence, really modifies only stormy, meaning that the weather became intensely stormy. Really stormy could be used anywhere stormy could be used, simply escalating the degree of the storm.

"Then it really got stormy"

In this sentence, really modifies got stormy, which does carry the same meaning that the weather became intensely stormy. It also subtly emphasizes really, implying that the weather was already stormy, but only now has it become intensely stormy.

The second sentence would suit a situation in which the speaker considered the previous weather to be stormy, but once the storm intensifies, the speaker realizes that the previous storm was weak in comparison to the current storm. The sentence would mean that the previous weather was nothing, and now the weather has become a real storm.

  • Agree 100% with this answer. Examples: (1) "At first the weather was fine but then it got really stormy" (2) "At first the weather was stormy but then it really got stormy." Mar 22, 2019 at 22:02

They both mean the same thing, but one is more formal than the other.

"Then it really got stormy"

This is more colloquial almost jokey, as it makes "got stormy" the thing it really was

"Then it got really stormy"?

This is more formal, as it got "really stormy"

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