“at all” is most commonly used in questions and negative sentences.
“at all” gives emphasis. It makes the meaning stronger.
“at all” means “even a little”, “in any way” or “even slightly”
Usually, “at all” is at the end of the question or sentence.
“at all” in a question
Jane: “Do you love me at all?”
(Meaning: Do you love me, even a little?)
“at all” in negative sentences
She’s listening to music. She can’t hear me at all.
(Meaning: She can’t hear me, not even slightly.)
Mark: Why are you angry with me?
Jane: When you were in New York, you didn’t call me at all.
(Meaning: You didn’t even call me once.)
Position of “at all” with adjectives
We have 2 choices for the position in a sentence:
1) We put “at all” before the adjective.
Are you at all tired?
I feel sick. I’m not at all hungry.
2) We put “at all” after the adjective.
Are you tired at all?
I feel sick. I’m not hungry at all.
“at all” in conditionals
“at all” makes the meaning of the condition stronger.
It means: “in any way”, “even slightly” or “even a little”.
If you loved me at all, you would help me.
(Meaning: If you loved me even a little, you would help me.)
If he had studied at all, he would have passed the exam.
(Meaning: If he had studied even a little, he would have passed the exam.)
If you are at all ill, stay in bed.
(Meaning: Even if you are only slightly ill, stay in bed.)
“at all” in affirmative sentences
We can use “at all” in certain affirmative sentences. We use “at all” in sentences that express free choice. These sentences often contain “any words” (anywhere, anybody, anything, anytime).
“at all” adds emphasis and makes the meaning of these sentences stronger.
Where do you want to go? I’ll take you anywhere at all.
Anybody at all may watch the fireworks. It’s a public event.
Child: Dad, can I have an ice-cream?
Dad: You can have anything at all.
Expression “not at all”
We can use “not at all” as a very polite reply when someone thanks us. This is very formal English. It is more common in British English. It is not common in American English.
Architect: Thank you very much for coming.
Manager: Not at all.