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In my native language - Bulgarian - the closest cognate to the word "informatively" - информативно (informativno) has a very specific and strong connotation. For example:

Izvinete, informativno da vi pitam, kolko struva tova?

I'm likely to translate like this:

Excuse me, I'd like to ask you, informatively, how much does this cost?

The connotation of "informativno" here is that I don't intend to buy the thing, at least not for now, and am likely to leave the shop right after asking.

Another English example:

"Would you like to meet to discuss this job opportunity?"

"Yes, but just informatively - I'm happy with current job and I don't want to leave it soon."

I intend this to mean that "the meeting will not result in me accepting the offer, at least not very soon, but I'd be happy to learn more about it.".

Does "informatively" have this strong connotation in English, and if not, how do I express this idea?

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  • 2
    “Just out of curiosity, how much does this coat?”
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 15:17
  • @Jim you wrote "coat" instead of "cost". Apart from that I think this comment is really the right answer. Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 15:40
  • 1
    @MaxWilliams - That’s an ’off-by-one error’ on a phone keyboard :-)
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 16:59

4 Answers 4

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No, 'informatively' is not the way what you want is formed. The usual construction is

informationally

meaning, in a manner that provides information.

However, be forewarned that despite it having the explicit meaning you want, the word sounds a bit stilted and formal in that context (of seeking only information).

I would reword it:

"Would you like to meet to discuss this job opportunity?"

"Yes, but I'm only curious - "

Then again, maybe 'informationally' is what you want despite the concerns. It's just that 'informationally' is not used often even in that context.

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As a disclaimer, I do not speak Bulgarian and am basing my answer on your examples.

"Informatively" does not serve as a direct translation; however, there are a number of phrases you might employ to serve a similar purpose.

"As a disclaimer"

You can use this phrase when you want to preempt someone from expecting something of you that you are unable to provide (example at the beginning of this answer).

"Just so you know," "In the name of full disclosure," or "By the way"

These phrases are similar, but they are used more to provide more information (for full disclosure) in a way that doesn't have as negative a connotation as "as a disclaimer" does. ("By the way" is a bit more colloquial than the other two, so the better modifications for your example would be "In the name of full disclosure, I am happy with my current job..." or "Just so you know, I am happy with my current job....")

"Just wondering" or "Just curious"

This phrase can be used to show that you are simply seeking information with no promises. (It can be used in your example: "Excuse me, I was just wondering—how much does this cost?" or "I'm just curious—how much does this cost?")

Note that the former two boxes are examples of usages where you are providing additional information, and the last box are phrases that are used when you are seeking information.

Since there's a single-word-requests tag on this, I also want to provide a casual, single-word way (reserved for speech) you might express the sense of this word from your second example. (It doesn't really work for your first example.) You might use the word

"Disclaimer"

"Disclaimer—I'm happy with my current job...."

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  • Thanks. I think you misunderstood the intended role of "informatively" in my second example. It's not supposed to qualify the part after the hyphen, as in "I want to inform you that I'm happy with current job". It's supposed to qualify the meeting/conversation that we might end up having, as in "Yes, but I want to meet you just to exchange information". With that in mind, I think none of your suggestions are applicable to my second example. Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 15:05
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No. In English informatively is an adverb referring to the imparting (giving) of information.

By way of information or communication of knowledge; so as to inform; instructively
(Oxford English Dictionary)

Two examples from the OED:

1956 N. Coward Diary 23 Dec. (2000) 340
She talks wisely and informatively up to the point where she gets carried away.

2006 Globe & Mail (Toronto) (Nexis) 17 Nov. a26
He was always full of charm and informatively funny stories.

Compare the adjectival form informative:

Providing useful or interesting information
(Oxford)

You could say

for information's sake
for the sake of information for informational purposes
for information only
just for information
for information (only) (just) out of curiosity

I would use any of the above before I used informationally, which the OED defines as: as regards information and is not as idiomatic as the options I've listed.

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You seem to be confusing at least three different things which are not in fact related.

Asking just for information

Asking as a disclaimer

Asking in the way Mr Average Native might ask.

Neither your examples nor my cases could ever have anything to do with any disclaimer. Even if they did, no disclaimer could be appropriate here.

Just for information is perfectly grammatical and also unlikely, unless the questioner was rather nervous and lacking confidence in dealing with trades… which is too common.

There is no significant difference between the fairly common informatively and the rather rare informationally and neither would normally be used in your context.

Mr Average might use just out of curiosity but there would be no need to bother. There is no possibility that how much is this could be seen as any kind of commitment, to buy or to anything else.

The same logic applies to your job opportunity.

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