I don't know if a native speaker would say that but I will try to understand better the usage of this word.

Would you say

I merely like something.

For example :

I merely like pizza.

If it sounds natural does this sentence connote either "you like pizza more than average" or "you like pizza less than average"

  • 1
    Mere love sounds contradictory. I love white pizza; I merely like ordinary red pizza. Jan 14, 2015 at 3:59
  • @StoneyB I will edit my question then. When you say " I merely like ordinary red pizza." does this sentence have more or less strong effect than "I like ordinary red pizza"
    – Mrt
    Jan 14, 2015 at 4:01
  • I personally do not use merely for verbs. I use it for nouns: It's merely the author's opinion, after all; that's not so important." For verbs (liking food) I use really (for good) and, sometimes, barely (for not so good). In this case I can say, I really love this pizza. Instead of "barely" I would probably say 'I don't like this one very much.'
    – user6951
    Jan 14, 2015 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


I merely like pizza.

This sounds like you're making a comparison -- "I love steak. I merely like pizza." In that context, using "merely" weakens the sentence, since it implies that you like other things more.

You could also use that sentence to make an excuse for your actions, like this:

I'm not trying to eat quickly. I merely like pizza.

This usage is rare, and sounds overly dramatic. If you want to say something like this, use "just" instead:

I'm not trying to eat quickly. I just like pizza.

You must log in to answer this question.

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