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For example:

  • I don't know who Tiger Woods is.
  • For real?


  • I don't know who Tiger Woods is.
  • Really?

I don't see any difference in this case, but are there some specific cases when these exclamations are different?

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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, Jasper Loy, Mahnax, kiamlaluno May 1 '12 at 1:27

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

General reference. There's no difference in meaning - it's just that "For real?" is still somewhat "slangier". – FumbleFingers Apr 30 '12 at 18:03
I see. Thank you for the answer. Can you post it as answer so I'll accept it? – Eugene Retunsky Apr 30 '12 at 18:32
On <a href="urbandictionary.com/… </a> there are some cases of 'for real' that you can see. – user19148 Apr 30 '12 at 18:43
@FumbleFingers: a difference in connotation/usage is still a difference, and it's often precisely that sort of difference that isn't found in a dictionary. Therefore, by your very own reasoning, this is not general reference. – Marthaª Apr 30 '12 at 21:36
@Martha: Point taken. A difference is a difference is a difference. But it still seems to me it's general reference that these kind of "cut-down" responses aren't really "grammatical". Do we really want endless questions asking about the difference between, say, "You can be sure of that!" and the more common cut-down version Sure!? – FumbleFingers Apr 30 '12 at 21:46
up vote 0 down vote accepted

There's no difference in meaning - it's just that "For real?" is still somewhat "slangier".

Note that it's easy to see "Really?" as a shortened version of grammatically sound constructions such as "Is that really true?", whereas to me at least there's no obviously valid construction underpinning "For real?".

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