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especially vs. specially

English translation: Examples and Suggestions

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:especially vs. specially
English translation:Examples and Suggestions
Entered by: Andrea Ali
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07:06 Dec 31, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
English term or phrase: especially vs. specially
Could you please help me on this one?
Some examples will be highly appreciated!

TIA!
Andrea :^)
Andrea Ali
Argentina
Local time: 08:26
Examples and Suggestions
Explanation:
I love the winter, especially when it snows.

I brought my brother specially to see the winter in Minnesota.

Actually, I don't see the word "specially" used as an adverb very often. It is rather used as an adjective, whereas "especially" is an adverb, and only an adverb, I believe.

So, one of the differences between these two words is syntactic - what part of speech they usually are in a sentence.

The other difference is semantic. "Especially" is used to emphasize and/or expand on a certain quality or action, etc.

"Specially" is used to emphasize the exclusivity of a particular action or event that is performed/occurs for a particular person/occasion, etc.

I would reiterate that "specially" is not used that frequently at all. In its stead, the following form is more common:


Instead of "I brought my brother specially to see the winter ...," I would rather say, " I brought my brother with a special purpose - to see the winter in ...."


Selected response from:

Montefiore
United States
Local time: 04:26
Grading comment
Thanks everybody!

Montefiore: your examples were perfect!

Happy New Year! :^)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1In Response to Constructive Criticism:)
Montefiore
4 +1particularly vs. less commonly
Alaa Zeineldine
3 +1sometimes they mean the same thing but
writeaway
5 -2Examples and Suggestions
Montefiore


  

Answers


19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
particularly vs. less commonly


Explanation:
The difference is that especially indicates emphasis on an object or an attribute that is singled out among its peers. Specially indicates a condition that applies in an unusual or exclusive way.

Examples:
The dolphin is specially equipped for living at sea.

Collaboration resolves difficult questions, especially those relating to subtle differences.

Hope this helps,

Alaa Zeineldine


Alaa Zeineldine
Egypt
Local time: 13:26
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 198

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Montefiore
12 mins
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20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
sometimes they mean the same thing but


Explanation:
especially often means to a higher degree, as in a disease that especially effects monkeys

and specially means for something/someone to the 'exclusion' of something else/others. e.g. it was specially made for him.

I would also suggest checking a good dictionary for other examples. Or wait for someone with more time who can explain it better.

writeaway
Local time: 13:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 28

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Montefiore
12 mins
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31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): -2
Examples and Suggestions


Explanation:
I love the winter, especially when it snows.

I brought my brother specially to see the winter in Minnesota.

Actually, I don't see the word "specially" used as an adverb very often. It is rather used as an adjective, whereas "especially" is an adverb, and only an adverb, I believe.

So, one of the differences between these two words is syntactic - what part of speech they usually are in a sentence.

The other difference is semantic. "Especially" is used to emphasize and/or expand on a certain quality or action, etc.

"Specially" is used to emphasize the exclusivity of a particular action or event that is performed/occurs for a particular person/occasion, etc.

I would reiterate that "specially" is not used that frequently at all. In its stead, the following form is more common:


Instead of "I brought my brother specially to see the winter ...," I would rather say, " I brought my brother with a special purpose - to see the winter in ...."




Montefiore
United States
Local time: 04:26
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 66
Grading comment
Thanks everybody!

Montefiore: your examples were perfect!

Happy New Year! :^)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  writeaway: your examples are ok but your explanations less so-of course specially is an adverb;and some of your expressions would never be used by a native speaker (with a special purpose, for example).
21 mins

disagree  Monica Colangelo: if you believe specially may ever be an adjective, you'd better pick a grammar book. Specially is always an adverb.
6 hrs

disagree  Refugio: Specially trained, specially equipped, specially fitted, always an adverb, and often used.
7 hrs
  -> thank you, all, for your constructive criticism:) apparently my examples have still served the purpose of the Asker, but I will certainly heed your advice in the future
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11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
In Response to Constructive Criticism:)


Explanation:
I would like to respond to those who criticized my explanation of the specially/especially quiery. I may not have provided a "proper" explanation, however, this is what I attempted to do. I understand that the word "specially" derives from an adjective and may serve as an adverbial adjective (don't know if there is such a notion in the English grammar. In Russian, there is a notion of the adverbs of quality/quantity that work more like adjectives, rather than adverbs. It's a gray area, morphologically speaking.

So, although it's always a good idea to consult grammar books, even for native speakers (and thank you for reminding me about that, Ruth), it is also a good idea to listen to your intuitive knowledge sometimes. All I meant was that "specially" derives from an adjective, and "especially" stands alone as an adverb.

Here's another example of how those words work. In the sentence below,

"Huskies, specially bred to resist cold and endure long treks in the snow, are especially well-adapted to pulling sleds and performing others tasks in the snow"

the word "specially" may be substituted with "exclusively," "selectively," or "separately," all of which, though serving as adverbs, derive from adjectives.

If, on the other hand, one tries to replace "especially" with another adverb, one may use the word "very" which is an adverb denoting quality, and not an adjective.

However, just as I have mentioned earlier, the major difference in the usage of the two words is semantic, whereas morphological distinctions that some of you debated, I attempted to mention in passing, albeit, people attached themselves to that point:) Oh well...



Montefiore
United States
Local time: 04:26
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 66

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Alaa Zeineldine: Sometimes it's better to duck:) I feel your new examples could erode what you accomplishd with the previous ones. I would say that the huskies are specially adapted ..., also some of the replacements won't read well, especially very! Regards.
12 hrs
  -> to duck? why, is this akin to having rotten tomatoes thrown at you? I thought this sight was meant to help those who have questions, but it turns out that it's more about showing who is right/wrong

agree  Refugio: In English, any word that modifies an adjective is considered an adverb, regardless of its derivation. Trained, equipped, fitted, and bred are used as adjectives. We woiuld not call them verbs in the participial form, though they are derived from verbs.
19 hrs
  -> thank you, Ruth, I agree with you; again, my main point emphasized semantic differences, and there is no prohibition on making observations on the derivation of words
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