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In the sentence これは[本当]{ほんと}に[高]{たか}いです, meaning "This is really expensive", I'm having trouble understanding the meaning of に, which usually has some connotation of "to", "on", or "at".

This is a phrase presented in Memrise Japanese Level 3, and I'm trying to start understanding the grammatical sense of the phrases.

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3 Answers 3

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Adjectives can often be used 'adverbially' (though they are generally not analysed by Japanese grammarians as 副詞) by adding に rather than な or in this case の.

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    So in this case, if 本当 => true, then 本当に => truly or really?
    – Tim D
    Apr 5, 2019 at 15:35
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    @TimD Yes, basically.
    – Angelos
    Apr 5, 2019 at 15:49
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If you really wanted to force a preposition into an English translation of 本当に so that it made more sense, you could say the the に is equivalent to the 'In' in 'In reality'.

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    I thought of the exact same thing! Haha! By the way, welcome to Japanese Stack Exchange! :)
    – varun
    Apr 6, 2019 at 9:56
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means "to."

e.g.) あなたに - To you

本当に - To the truth / I will hand this over the truth / truly

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