What is the meaning of being ‘literal’?
Dia simple je sebenarnya. Literal means exactly word for word. That means, if you are being literal, maksudnya, tiada yang tersirat. Apa yang awak cakap, itulah yang awak maksudkan. Awak tidak berpuitis atau berbunga-bunga.
Contohnya, tengok poem pasal jerebu (haze) ni:
Our land has been hit by the annual haze,
it’s sending nasal systems into a craze.
’cause forests in Sumatra have been burned with a blaze.
So now we get haze for several days.
The PSI has hit a record of four-oh-one.
It hasn’t been a gentleman to health and to fun,
outdoors, the Gangnam Style cannot be done.
(sorry, I couldn’t help avoiding the pun).
People are staying home indoors like crazy.
They sit in their sofas and full-blast the AC.
The outdoor guys, well, they don surgical masks
to carry out outdoor allergical tasks.
What a shame.
But don’t you worry, friends,
because it all will soon be fine.
Even the thickest haze will end
and the sun will shine.
Source: Poetry Talents
Dalam poem ni, the poet is literally talking about the haze.
Now, look at this poem:
I have in me like a haze
Which holds and which is nothing
A nostalgia for nothing at all,
The desire for something vague.
I’m wrapped by it
As by a fog, and I see
The final star shining
Above the stub in my ashtray.
I smoked my life. How uncertain
All I saw or read! All
The world is a great open book
That smiles at me in an unknown tongue.
Source: Poetry International
Dalam poem yang ni, dia bukan literal, sebab dia cakap jerebu dalam diri dia. Dia ‘figuratif’.
How to use ‘literally’ in a sentence?
Literally tu adverb. Adverb ni guna dia ialah untuk modify verbs, adjectives, dan adverbs yang lain! Selalunya adverbs ada -ly kat belakang. Macam quietly, slowly, carefully.
He carefully drove up the hill
(kat sini, carefully modify ‘drove’ – kita tak boleh cakap he careful drove up the hill)
So, kalau nak guna literally:
He literally has a broken heart = hati dia rosak
(Selalunya orang guna literally kalau benda tu bunyinya macam kiasan!)
Kalau kita tak letak ‘literally’, orang automatically assume dia ‘patah hati’ (broken heart)
Bukan hati dia kena hantar kat mekanik.
Repairlah sendiri, siapa suruh bercinta.
I hope this helps!