Main Difference – Specially vs Especially
Specially and especially are two adverbs that confuse English learners as well as native English speakers. The meanings of these two adverbs overlap to a certain extent. In a general context, both, specially and especially, means particularly. According to the usage guide of Oxford English dictionary, the use of especially over specially or specially over especially actually depends on the conventions of usage, not the differences in meaning. However, especially is particularly used to indicate the meaning to single out one person, thing, or situation above all other. Specially, on the other hand, can be used to refer to a special purpose. This is the main difference between specially and especially.
This articles explains in detail,
1. Meaning and Usage of Especially
2. Meaning and Usage of Specially
3. Comparison and Key Differences Between Specially and Especially
Especially – Meaning and Usage
Especially can be used to indicate the following meanings:
To a great extent; very much
There is nothing especially radical about her ideas.
This herbal drink is especially important for children.
He was especially concerned about her health.
Used to single out one person or thing over all others
I hated them all, especially his brother.
We can’t give you any guarantee, especially at this early stage.
It’s difficult to understand, especially for women who have not received any formal education.
In the above sentences, the use of specially in place of especially would not be very appropriate since specially is not used to single out something.
In addition, especially is considered to be more formal than specially and it is also more commonly used than specially. Oxford Dictionary usage guide states that especially occurs twenty times as frequently as specially in the Oxford English Corpus.
Specially – Meaning and Usage
Specially refers to a special purpose. Look at the following sentences to understand the meaning of the word.
This chair was specially designed for people with long legs.
This dress was specially made for this party.
The specially commissioned report revealed the inconsistencies of the accounts.
It can also refer to a special manner. Look at the following sentence.
I don’t want to be treated specially.
The use of especially in this sentence would have looked unusual. If you are not sure about the usage of these two adverbs, just remember that specifically refers to a special purpose or manner and use especially for all other meanings.
Difference Between Specially and Especially
Specially refers to a special purpose or manner.
Especially is used to single out one person or thing over all others.
Apart from these two particular meanings, the other meanings of specially and especially can overlap. Therefore, they can be used interchangeably.
Specially is considered to be less formal than especially.
Especially is considered to be more formal than specially.
Specially is less commonly used than especially.
Especially is more commonly used than specially.
“Space Shuttle Endeavour piggybacks aboard a specially modified jumbo jet”By NASA via Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA – Endeavour Migrates Home, (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia