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Especially and specially

 

An idiom is an expression whose meaning is not readily apparent based on the individual words in the expression. This forum is dedicated to discussing idioms and other sayings.


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  #1  
Old August 12, 2008, 01:40 AM
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Especially and specially

I've never been able to tell the difference between especially and specially so I tend to use them indiscriminately and cross my fingers for luck. Any tips?
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Old August 12, 2008, 02:24 AM
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I always use specially. I didn't know especially exists.
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Old August 12, 2008, 03:23 AM
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Lucky you... So far, it has saved you a lot of brain-racking.
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Old August 12, 2008, 06:08 AM
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They are very similar, but there is a small difference. For example you can say, She treats her friends specially. It would be incorrect to say, She treats her friends especially. But you can say She treats her friends especially well
You can say, The meal was made specially
You cannot say, The meal was made especially
but, you can say, The meal was made especially for you

This may be the rule but please correct me if I'm wrong, Rustu and other language people:
Specially works best as an adverb.
Especially works best as an adjective or when followed by a prepositional phrase or as an auxilliary adverb.
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Old August 12, 2008, 07:13 AM
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I don't think any of both especially and specially is an adjective. I think both are adverbs. On the phrases you gave, Poli, both work like adverbs.

The adjectives would be: special / especial.
The adverbs: specially / especially.

If there is a difference between these two words (which I don't have a clue about) it must be because they mean different things or they are used in different contexts. Anyway, I'm more of the opinion that they mean the same.

For the moment, I don't see the difference.
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Old August 12, 2008, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonso View Post
I don't think any of both especially and specially is an adjective. I think both are adverbs. On the phrases you gave, Poli, both work like adverbs.

The adjectives would be: special / especial.
The adverbs: specially / especially.

If there is a difference between these two words (which I don't have a clue about) it must be because they mean different things or they are used in different contexts. Anyway, I'm more of the opinion that they mean the same.

For the moment, I don't see the difference.
So far I've never been able to see it myself either, even though it's explained in grammar books and I've asked different people several times.
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Old August 12, 2008, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poli View Post
They are very similar, but there is a small difference. For example you can say, She treats her friends specially. It would be incorrect to say, She treats her friends especially. But you can say She treats her friends especially well
You can say, The meal was made specially
You cannot say, The meal was made especially
but, you can say, The meal was made especially for you

This may be the rule but please correct me if I'm wrong, Rustu and other language people:
Specially works best as an adverb.
Especially works best as an adjective or when followed by a prepositional phrase or as an auxilliary adverb.
Thanks, Poli. But I'm still clueless. I'll read your explanation again when I have more time.
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Old August 12, 2008, 07:24 AM
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Alfonso, please review my examples. The ones with thumbs up are correct. Review their roles as a part of speech. You should be able to see that specially and especially have a different gramatical function and perhaps adjective is not the
term. Auxiliary adverb is better (an adverb to embellish another adverb like muy) may be a better term.

Think of especially as something similar to very. The word specially does not correspond to very--especially does.
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Last edited by poli; August 12, 2008 at 07:30 AM.
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Old August 12, 2008, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poli View Post
Alfonso, please review my examples. The ones with thumbs up are correct. Review their roles as a part of speech. You should be able to see that specially and especially have a different gramatical function and perhaps adjective is not the
term. Auxiliary adverb is better (an adverb to embellish another adverb like muy) may be a better term.

Think of especially as something similar to very. The word specially does not correspond to very--especially does.
The comparison between especially and very did help.
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  #10  
Old August 12, 2008, 07:56 AM
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The word especially, always used as an adverb, means:
to an unusual or exceptional degree (This building is especially large.)
to single out one among a range (They were all winners, especially Joe.)
chiefly (There are many great violinists, especially men.)
for a specific or particular purpose (This brush, especially designed for removing pet hair, makes a great gift.)

The adverb specially means:
for a special or particular purpose, person, or occasion
(The program was specially for children.)
(This brush, specially designed to remove pet hair better than any other pet hair remover, makes an exceptional gift.)
(The especially tall building had specially designed turbolifts to carry passengers to the higher floors more quickly.)

As you can see, the last definition of especially and the only definition of specially are quite similar. This is probably why there is a great deal of confusion between the words. As Poli pointed out, however, there are certainly times when they can't (properly) be switched. It's improper to say, "The building was specially tall," for example.
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