Have I used "really" correctly in the following sentence? I mean to say that many needs are not real, and we feel that need because of advertisements.

Advertising on TV and the radio creates a great deal of artificial want. These flashy and gimmicky promotions seduce people to buy something that they really do not need.

Which one is correct?

  1. they really do not need.
  2. they do not need really.
  3. they do not really need.

I guess the third one means what I want.

  1. The first one means that they do no need them at all. There is an emphasize on the fact that they do not need those items.

  2. The second one mentions the items that people do not need. It says that people buy things that they do not need. but it does not tell anything about the fact that they feel they need them!

  3. The third one means that they think they need the items, but they do not need. It is what I am trying to explain about artificial wants.

Am I correct?

  • 1
    Attn: downvoters and close voters: this question cannot be answered with a dictionary nor a basic Internet search, it's focused on one word in particular that the OP is not sure about, rather than an appeal for general proofreading, and OP has provided their thinking on the matter. Your objections don't seem valid. Please at least comment
    – gotube
    Sep 21, 2021 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


In (1), "really" modifies "do not need", and it has the function of emphasis, rather than being a synonym for "actually", which separates reality from belief. So I don't think it fits your intended meaning.

Examples (2) and (3) both carry the meaning of "actually". (2) would be better written with a comma: "... that they do not need, really", and is very informal, pretty much conversational only. (3) is appropriate for writing.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .