an English question

@dufresne (137)
China
May 5, 2009 7:23pm CST
In the sentence "They sold me their air rights and basically threw in the option as part of the deal." Whether "basically" here means "a good part of the option, because the author knew that the entire option wasn't given to him?
2 people like this
3 responses
• United States
6 May 09
Here, in common English, "basically" is used simply as a flavoring particle. It's a colloquial use--it doesn't carry any inherent conceptual meaning, other than "to make a long story short". Compare these sentences: "I wanted to break the problem down basically, so I could understand its causes." Here, "basically" does carry meaning: it means breaking the problem down to its basics. "The steps should be followed basically, in order to achieve the desired result." Here again, "basically" has meaning: it means that the steps should be followed precisely, carefully, and without additional interpretation or improvisation. On the other hand, there is a more colloquial use of the term, which could be substituted with "to make a long story short." That's the sense I get in the sentence you've given: the author is not implying that throwing in the option was a "basic" part of the deal (in fact, it's clear it wasn't). The author is saying that it's slightly more complicated, but that he's giving you only a broad summary.
@dufresne (137)
• China
6 May 09
a thorough and precise answer! Thank you!
• United States
7 May 09
basically in that sense means "more or less" or "for all intents and purposes"
• United States
6 May 09
Air rights, is that the option of the deal this is speaking of. Depends on how the original deal went. Could be they threw in the air rights because of a property sale and threw them in as an extra bonus. Or with the Air Rights that are other options that came with the deal. Basically means just going ahead and adding to without discussion.