Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Specially and Especially

english wordsSpecially vs Especially

There is a subtly when it comes to the difference between specially and especially. Most people do seem like they are using the two words interchangeably. To the ear, it might sound that way, at least, but often what you’re hearing is ‘specially and specially.

Their defined meanings can sometimes be the same, which leaves an opening for using either word in a sentence. However, their placement in the sentence can have an impact on which word you choose. If you’re using the word prior to a preposition, or a conjunction, the word of choice for correct grammar is ‘especially’. For instance: ‘I love living near the beaches in Virginia, especially in the summer.’

If you’re using the word in conjunction with a past participle, then you should use the word ‘specially’. For instance: ‘The surfboard was specially designed for me.’

Beyond that, you can find differences in some of the definitions. You can consider the word ‘especially’ to be defined by the synonym ‘particularly’, and can be used for emphasis on a particular subject. For instance, you could say: ‘We went out on the water even though it was especially windy,’ just as easily as you could say: ‘We went out on the water even though it is particularly windy.’ It emphasizes that it wasn’t just windy, but windier than usual.

When using the word ‘specially’, you could define it as ‘designating a particular purpose’. ‘My surfboard was specially designed to help me with my physical disability.’ The word is clarifying the context to show that there was an intention behind the action or thought.

‘Especially’ is actually more often misused, because we tend to drop the ‘E’ and make it silent, as illustrated in the first paragraph. Misuse of the word ‘specially’ is actually much less common.

It can be difficult to be sure which word you should be using when it comes to normal speech patterns and writing. However, if you get stuck beyond being able to hear the correct word when speaking the sentence aloud, you can usually be sure that you can create a sentence fragment from ‘especially’, but not from ‘specially’.

Johnny said: ‘It sure is cold out today.’

Kara replied: ‘Especially for this time of year.’

While sentence fragments are far from proper, we use them more in everyday speech in order to make quick points, to develop a writing style, and when we believe other information within the sentence is already understood.


1. Especially should be used prior to prepositions and conjunctions.

2. Specially is used when a past participle is in the sentence.

3. Especially can be replaced with the synonym ‘particularly’.

4. Specially implies intention.

5. Specially can be defined as a designated purpose.

6. Especially is more commonly inappropriately used.

7. Especially can be used in fragments.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks! it is clear defination. I always have problem with these words. I hope I will remember it now.

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