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I know "και" means "and", but while I am trying to learn Greek by as much immersion as possible I see it often used in ways that cannot simply be interpreted as "and". For example it surprises me to see "και" appear in a sentence like "... δεν είναι και πολύ καλό", I would think that "... δεν είναι πολύ καλό" would already say "... is not very good".

What does adding "και" to a sentence like that add to the meaning?

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The main meanings of the word "και" are "and", "as well", "also", "plus", "at the same time" or it just indicates transition from one phrase to another.

Sometimes, though, it is used to intensify the meaning, or to make it milder, to indicate uncertainty. In those cases we do not usually translate it.

Δεν είναι πολύ καλό. = it is not very good. (absolute meaning)

Δεν είναι και πολύ καλό = It is not very good. (milder meaning. It includes a kind of uncertainty) "It might not be very good."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vasiliki Baskou, Instructor/Director, https://learn-greek-online.com.

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Can "και" also mean "that is"?
This answer is very understandable and plain. Thank you so much