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As the equivalent of Enlgish "Oh really?" / "Yes really." as lone utterances I seem to hear both "本当" (hontō) and "本当に" (hontō-ni) in Japanese - is there a difference?

It seems that hontō is a noun and -ni changes it into an adverb but that this doesn't really matter for the purpose of such simple utterances. Am I thinking along the right lines?

  • My favorite way of saying "What, really?" is 「本当に本当!?」 >^.^< – silvermaple Jan 19 '12 at 21:59
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There is no difference in utterances for both words, if you speak those alone.

But if you add some words after that, you might need to use "本当に~" to get correct grammar.

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