When someone says this, we know he obviously doesn't mean he'll "do anything". In this case, what kind of statement is this? It isn't a literal statement too, right?

  • 3
    It's hyperbole, a kind of exaggeration (specifically, a ludicrous overexaggeration).
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 16:00
  • 1
    And a grammar mistake starting this type of sentence with I'm instead of I. Want is not continuous. Usually hyperbole, but i'd kill for a klondike bar.
    – Sakatox
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 16:02
  • 1
    Not correct: I'm want. Correct: I want. After a form of to be can't follow a bare infinitive.
    – rogermue
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 16:47
  • huh, and I thought this was gonna be a "bad vs badly" question Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 18:17
  • Who are you to make that call? Maybe the person is indeed willing to do anything.. Next time someone approaches you with that question, ask them for a kidney, or to jump-skip every step at work for a week, or sow wings onto their pyjamas and send you a picture... people might just surprise you, and even if most people say no, it'll be worth it for the couple that say yes :D
    – Born2Smile
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


This is called a hyperbole.

It is a figure of speech, which involves an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis.

It's when you make a statement that is a clear exaggeration on the reality of the situation. Hyperbole is such a common feature of everyday speech that it usually goes by unnoticed.

These are hyperboles:

  1. "I'll kill him if he does that again."
  2. "I fell on the floor with laughter."
  3. "This is driving me insane."

These are what they actually mean:

  1. "I will be very angry with him if he does that again."
  2. "I laughed uncontrollably."
  3. "This is annoying me."
  • Okay, @NVZ . What is confusing you? Then I can edit my answer to make it clearer, if necessary.
    – Karl
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 16:20
  • It might be my poor formatting. I should learn some commands and edit, perhaps.
    – Karl
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 16:22
  • Thanks, @NVZ... Can you also make my lists fall on single-space lines, rather than having paragraph spacing? Is there a line-break command, for example? Cheeky to ask, I know...
    – Karl
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 16:33
  • Excellent, @NVZ. You're making me look very good! I gather you used the built in list function for that part? I had hoped to keep my own numbering format, however, the trade-off is worth it as this looks much better. Thanks a lot.
    – Karl
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 16:46

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