Are both acceptable and normal? I could find examples of both but that approach has led me to awkward phrasing in the past.


1. You might use them both in numerous contexts and no one would think you were saying anything that differs much whichever you chose.

(TLFi) c) [Avec valeur intensive] De la manière la plus profonde, la plus authentique, au delà des apparences.

  • Les élèves sont vraiment intéressés par les travaux pratiques.

2. There is however at least one subtle différence when "vraiment" is better taken au pied de la lettre; the intention is not any more to give added intensity to what the verb communicates but to discard a doubtful impression or answer to a direct question as to whether or not a real interest is involved; the translation of "vraiment" is then "really" or "genuinely". Of course, again, in this case, "beaucoup" can be used to the same effect of giving a positive answer that will have a similar consequence, but the use of "vraiment" will be decoded as meaning "really", not specifically "much".

Case 1

  • -- It seemed you might want to go half and half on that deal with me, I haven't talked to you about it for some time.
  • -- I'm really interested, do not mistake my silence about it for a lack of interest.

  • -- Il me semblait que vous seriez d'accord pour faire moitié moitié sur cette affaire, je ne vous en ai pas parlé depuis quelques temps.

  • -- Je suis vraiment intéressé, ne prenez pas mon silence à ce sujet pour un manque d'intérêt.

Case 2

  • -- Can we suppose that this scheme of two monthly consultations could appear ideal to them?
  • -- I think they are really/genuinely interested in settling for it as soon as possible.

  • -- Est-ce que l'on peut croire qu'il trouvent idéal cet arrangement en deux séances de délibérations mensuelles ?

  • -- Je crois que ça les intéresse vraiment de l'accepter aussitôt que possible.

3. When the negative form of this locution is used, a similar interpretation is the best: "not really".

(TLFi) Nég. + vraiment. [Signifie que l'on se refuse ou que l'on hésite à affirmer que]

  • They pretend to like nature, but it doesn't really interest them.
  • Ils prétendent aimer la nature mais elle ne les intéresse pas vraiment.
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