I tend to use this phrase a lot, but I don't know if I'm being redundant or not.

Some example dialogue would be:

Friend 1: So you're saying that you have a notebook that can kill people if you write their name in it.

Friend 2: Basically, yes.

  • Could you provide some more context? Maybe an example dialogue in which you are likely to use this phrase? – psosuna Mar 16 '18 at 20:58
  • 4
    It's not a matter of redundancy. 'Basically, yes' means 'The best simple answer I can give is "Yes", but there are provisos.' So using it is either correct or incorrect. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 16 '18 at 20:59
  • What did Friend 2 say first? 'I have a notebook that can kill a person if I write their name in it.' makes the following conversation rather redundant. 'I've put the names of three people in my notebook, and not one of them lived longer than three months after that.' makes your sentences reasonable. 'Basically, yes' is really a hedged form here meaning 'I suppose that is what I'm saying.' – Edwin Ashworth Mar 16 '18 at 21:20
  • 'Are you telling me that an asteroid is expected in 2135 and NASA can do nothing about it ? .... 'Basically, yes.' The expression is emphatic. 'That's the bare bones of it, yes.' 'Ultimately, that is the case, yes.' – Nigel J Mar 17 '18 at 3:17
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    It's quite acceptable if you mean the sort of thing that Edwin and Nigel describe, but some people do get into the habit of over-using the word (I once worked with someone who did). – Kate Bunting Mar 17 '18 at 10:58

I like the phrasing. I think it conveys a sense of "There's more to it than that", while still confirming the basic are correct. You could also view it as padding a reply slightly in a situation where terseness would be seen as rude, or standoffish.

It's still certainly possible to over or misuse the word, but I think it's alright for most contexts.

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